Lui Passaglia

Last updated
Lui Passaglia
No. 5
Lui Passaglia.png
Lui Passaglia in 2001.
Born: (1954-06-07) June 7, 1954 (age 67)
Vancouver, British Columbia
Career information
CFL status National
Position(s) K/P/WR
University Simon Fraser
High school Notre Dame
CFL draft 1976 / Round: 1 / Pick: 5
Drafted by BC Lions
Career history
As player
19762000 BC Lions
As Director of Community Relations
20012007 BC Lions
Career highlights and awards
CFL All-Star 1979, 1983, 1984, 2000
CFL West All-Star 1977, 1979, 1980, 1983, 1984, 1992, 1998, 1999, 2000
Awards Dick Suderman Trophy (1985, 1994)
Honours
Retired #s BC Lions #5
Career stats

Lui Passaglia (born June 7, 1954) is a former professional Canadian football player. Passaglia was the placekicker/punter for the BC Lions of the Canadian Football League for a record-breaking 25 years (1976–2000) and scored more points in that time than any professional gridiron football player in history. He is a member of Canada's Sports Hall of Fame, the Canadian Football Hall of Fame, the British Columbia Sports Hall of Fame, and the BC Lions Wall of Fame. Passaglia's #5 jersey is one of nine numbers retired by the Lions. [1] In 2003, Passaglia was voted a member of the BC Lions All-Time Dream Team as part of the club's 50 year anniversary celebration. [2] In 2006, Passaglia was voted one of the CFL's Top 50 players (#30) of the league's modern era by Canadian sports network TSN. [3]

Contents

High school and college career

After playing quarterback at Notre Dame Regional Secondary School in East Vancouver, Passaglia, not straying far from home, accepted an athletic scholarship to local Simon Fraser University in suburban Burnaby, British Columbia. [4] At Simon Fraser, Passaglia played wide receiver as well as kicker/punter. [5] As a member of the Clan, Passaglia recorded 175 career points, won All NAIA District 1 honours twice, and was named an All-Northwest All-Star. [5] Passaglia was the fifth-overall selection of the BC Lions in the 1976 CFL season Canadian College Draft, as a kicker and wide receiver. [6]

Canadian Football League career

Passaglia caught a 10-yard touchdown pass in his first CFL game on July 22, of the 1976 CFL season against the Saskatchewan Roughriders. [7] His only other career touchdown came on a one-yard run in his final home game at BC Place Stadium, on November 4, of the 2000 season, again against the Roughriders. [7] Between those two touchdown "bookends," Passaglia arguably became one of the most consistent performers in Lions', CFL, and professional football history. [5] [7]

Lui Passaglia and teammate Damon Allen with the Grey Cup in January 2001 Lui Passaglia and Damon Allen with Grey Cup.jpg
Lui Passaglia and teammate Damon Allen with the Grey Cup in January 2001

Passaglia played the most CFL regular seasons at 25, the most CFL regular season games at 408, and scored the most points in regular season play with 3,991 points, all with one team: the BC Lions. [6] Passaglia was the first player to score 200 points in a season (1987), with 214 points. [7]

Passaglia holds many CFL regular season records including total points scored (3,991), most converts at 1,045 (560 consecutive—he missed only three), most field goals at 875 (of 1,203 attempted), best single season field goal percentage at 90.9% (40 of 44 in 2000, his final year of play), and most single points at 309. [4] Passaglia is the second all-time CFL punt leader with 3,142 for 133,826 yards (behind Bob Cameron), with the second highest average in a season (1983 CFL season) of 50.2 yards (Jon Ryan had a higher average in the 2005 season). [7] In CFL playoff games, Passaglia holds records for most points with 210, is tied for most field goals with 48, and has the longest recorded punt of 89 yards. [7]

As a Lion, Passaglia was named a CFL Western Division All-Star nine times, and was a CFL All-Star four times (1979, 1983, 1984, and 2000 seasons). [4] Passaglia was a member of three of the Lions' Grey Cup seasons (1985, 1994, and 2000 seasons), winning the Dick Suderman Trophy as the Grey Cup's Most Valuable Canadian twice (73rd Grey Cup and 82nd Grey Cup). [4] Passaglia is the longest-playing Lion in team history, appearing in a total of 408 games, overtaking Leos' great Al Wilson's previous mark of 233 games. [7]

Passaglia retired from the CFL following the Lions' 28–26 88th Grey Cup victory over the Montreal Alouettes in the 2000 season, where he kicked the winning points in the game. [7] In the 2003 season, Passaglia was voted a member of the BC Lions All-Time Dream Team, at the kicker and punter positions, as part of the club's 50 year anniversary celebration. [2] In November 2006, Passaglia was voted #30 of the CFL's top 50 players of the league's modern era by Canadian sports network TSN. [3]

Passaglia's last-second field goal in 1994's 82nd Grey Cup game at BC Place, which clinched the championship for the Lions over the Baltimore Football Club, was named the greatest play in BC Lions history in 2007. [8]

By the time of his retirement, Passaglia had been a member of the Lions for over half of its then-47-season history. Consistently a fan favorite, home crowds consistently chanted his given name in a long drawn-out manner (such that it sounded like an extended "Loo...") whenever he came on the field, particularly when attempting crucial field goals.

SeasonFGMFGAFG %Long
1976284957.1%50
1977405375.5%48
1978374484.1%50
1979324571.1%50
1980314667.4%54
1981274067.5%45
1982263574.3%48
1983435972.9%52
1984354872.9%54
1985375567.3%54
1986395669.6%49
1987526678.8%49
1988132065.0%46
1989375172.5%53
1990253964.1%50
1991445974.6%54
1992283873.7%49
1993254774.5%52
1994283677.8%46
1995456272.6%49
1996365367.9%50
1997354577.8%50
1998364678.8%51
1999304763.8%47
2000404490.9%49

Post-playing career

Following his years playing with the Lions, Passaglia worked for seven years as the Lions director of community relations. He resigned from the Lions at the conclusion of the 2007 CFL season to devote his time to his family property development business. Passaglia was replaced as BC Lions director of community relations by fellow Lions great and former teammate, Jamie Taras. [6] [9]

Passaglia has lived in the city of Coquitlam for over 20 years. [10]

In 2006, Simon Fraser University granted him an honorary degree and he delivered a convocation address. [11]

In 2014, Passaglia revealed that he was receiving chemotherapy for stage 3 colon cancer. By going public, he intended to fundraise for research and treatment. [11]

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References

  1. "BC Lions Retired Numbers". BCLions.com. Retrieved 2006-08-20.
  2. 1 2 "BC Lions Dream Team". BCLions.com. Retrieved 2006-09-10.
  3. 1 2 "TSN Top 50 CFL Players". TSN.ca. 2006-11-28. Retrieved 2007-04-28.
  4. 1 2 3 4 "Canadian Football Hall of Fame - Lui Passaglia". Canadian Football Hall of Fame. Retrieved 2006-08-20.
  5. 1 2 3 "B.C. Sports Hall of Fame - Lui Passaglia". B.C. Sports Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2006-08-20.
  6. 1 2 3 "Lui Passaglia - Director of Community Relations (BC Lions)". BCLions.com. Retrieved 2006-08-20.
  7. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 "CFL: A Historical Look - Lui Passaglia (BC Lions)". CFL: A Historical Look (Fan Site). Archived from the original on 2009-08-07. Retrieved 2006-08-20.
  8. "Greatest play in BC Lions history - Number 1". bclions.com. 2007-07-19. Retrieved 2007-07-20.
  9. "Passaglia to end long tenure with BC Lions". CBC News. 2007-08-30. Retrieved 2008-12-22.
  10. Richard Stewart: Endorsements [ permanent dead link ] Retrieved on 15 March 2009
  11. 1 2 "Lui Passaglia battling stage 3 colon cance". CBC Sports. July 18, 2014.