Russ Jackson

Last updated
Russ Jackson
No. 12
Born: (1936-07-28) July 28, 1936 (age 84)
Hamilton, Ontario
Career information
Position(s) Quarterback
Height5 ft 10 in (178 cm)
Weight195 lb (88 kg)
University McMaster
CFL draft 1958 / Round: 1 / Pick: 6
Drafted by Ottawa Rough Riders
Career history
As coach
19751976 Toronto Argonauts (HC)
As player
19581969 Ottawa Rough Riders
Career highlights and awards
CFL All-Star 1966, 1968, 1969
CFL East All-Star 1962, 1963, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969
Retired #s Ottawa Rough Riders #12
Ottawa Redblacks #12
Career stats

Russell Stanley Jackson OC (born July 28, 1936) is a former professional Canadian football player. [1] Jackson spent his entire 12-year professional football career with the Ottawa Rough Riders of the Canadian Football League (CFL). He is a member of the Order of Canada, the Canadian Football Hall of Fame, and Canada's Sports Hall of Fame, and has been described as the best Canadian-born quarterback to play in the CFL. [2] In 2006, Jackson was voted one of the CFL's Top 50 players (#8) of the league's modern era by Canadian sports network TSN, the highest-ranked Canadian-born player on the list. [2]


Early life and college career

After a stellar college career as both a basketball and football player, Jackson graduated from McMaster University in 1958 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics. He was the McMaster nominee for a Rhodes Scholarship, but did not pursue an interview for the scholarship, deciding instead to sign with the Ottawa Rough Riders of the Canadian Football League, who drafted him in the first round of the 1958 CFL Draft. [2] [3]

Rough Rider career

Originally signed as a defensive back, Jackson quarterbacked the Rough Riders to three Grey Cup victories (48th, 56th, and 57th Grey Cups). [3]

Jackson was the dominant CFL quarterback of the 1960s. Referred to as the "Y. A. Tittle of the North", he was honoured many times during his CFL career. [4] He won the CFL's Most Outstanding Player Award in the 1963, 1966, and 1969 seasons. He was also a four-time winner of the CFL's Most Outstanding Canadian Award (1959, 1963, 1966, 1969 seasons). He was a six-time Eastern Conference All-Star quarterback (1962, 1963, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969) and the CFL All-Star quarterback in the 1966, 1968, and 1969 seasons.

Russ Jackson was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 1973. [5] Many consider him one of the best Canadian-born players to play in the CFL, while most consider him to be the best Canadian to play the quarterback position. [2] In November 2006, Jackson was voted one of the CFL's top 50 players (No. 8) of the league's modern era by Canadian sports network TSN. [2]

Jackson ended his career with 24,593 passing yards, with 1,356 completions on 2,530 attempts (53.6%), 124 interceptions, 185 touchdowns, and an efficiency rating of 91.2. He was also a mobile quarterback, gaining 5,045 yards on the ground on 738 rushes, with 54 touchdowns. Among the few Canadian-born quarterbacks to play in the CFL, Jackson is the only one to pass for over 10,000 yards. [6]

He holds the record for throwing the most passing touchdowns in a Grey Cup game with four (set in the 1969 game) and highest career passer rating in Grey Cup games with 118.4. [6]

Career statistics

 Passing Rushing
1958 OTT 141126154.58583666.0663575.4515
1959 OTT 14894550.61,0097784.8693855.6303
1960 OTT 12522038.53222340.7523817.3256
1961 OTT 141175950.41,0488779.3674727.0246
1962 OTT 141577849.71,427101368.1715127.2268
1963 OTT 1425915258.72,910198109.4643846.0425
1964 OTT 1423011650.42,156181680.3815887.3333
1965 OTT 1425213051.62,303181385.5241295.4262
1966 OTT 1427614251.42,400171579.1653966.1263
1967 OTT 1432318958.53,332259108.0613295.4234
1968 OTT 1430517156.13,187251697.8545349.9736
1969 OTT 1435819353.93,6413312106.1645789.0493
CFL totals1662,5301,35653.624,59318512591.07385,0456.87354

Post-football playing career


After retiring from football, Jackson returned to teaching, having been a mathematics teacher from 1959–1961 and head of the Department of Mathematics at Rideau High School in Ottawa, Ontario from 1961–1966. He was the principal of Canterbury High School in Ottawa from 1973 [7] to 1975. He later became a vice-principal and principal at secondary schools in Ottawa and Mississauga. He also became principal at Brampton Centennial Secondary School, John Fraser and T.L. Kennedy secondary schools.


Jackson served as colour commentator for the CFL on CBC broadcasts from 1971–73 and again from 1977–80. From 1996 to 2001, Jackson was the colour commentator CHML-AM's coverage of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.


Jackson briefly left teaching in 1975, spending two years as head coach of the Toronto Argonauts. Jackson compiled a 12-18-2 regular-season record in two seasons as the Argos' head coach, not reaching the playoffs in either season. Jackson was replaced by Leo Cahill, in his second tenure as the Argos' head coach, prior to the 1977 CFL season.


Jackson is an Officer of the Order of Canada [8] and was awarded an honorary doctoral degree in law by McMaster University in 1989. He was added to Canada's Walk of Fame in 2012. [9]

In 1986, the Russ Jackson Award was created in his honour to recognize the university football player who best exhibits athletic ability, academic achievement, and devoted citizenship. [5]

Russ Jackson was inducted into the Ontario Sports Hall of Fame in 1995. [10]

Related Research Articles

Frank Clair American football player

Frank James Clair was an American gridiron football player, coach, and executive. Nicknamed "the Professor" for his ability to recognize and develop talent, he served as a head coach in the Canadian Football League (CFL) with the Toronto Argonauts from 1950 to 1954 and the Ottawa Rough Riders from 1956 to 1969. Clair ranks third all-time in CFL history with 147 regular season wins and first in postseason victories with 27. He is also tied for the most Grey Cup championships won by a head coach with five. He won the Annis Stukus Trophy as the CFL's coach of the year in 1966 and 1969.

Ron Lancaster

Ronald Lancaster was an American-Canadian professional football player and coach in the Canadian Football League (CFL). As the starting quarterback for the Saskatchewan Roughriders for 16 seasons, he led the team to its first Grey Cup championship in 1966 and is the franchise's all-time leader in passing yards, attempts, completions, touchdowns, and interceptions. At the time of his retirement, he was the CFL's career leader in passing yards and still ranks sixth overall as of 2016. After his retirement as a player, he served as a head coach and general manager in the CFL; he led his teams to two Grey Cups and currently ranks fourth all-time with 142 regular season wins. He was also a colour commentator on the CFL on CBC from 1981 to 1990. At the time of his death, he was the Senior Director of Football Operations of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. He is a member of the Canadian Football Hall of Fame (1982), Canada's Sports Hall of Fame (1985) and the Wittenberg University Athletic Hall of Honour (1985).

Damon Allen American football quarterback

Damon Allen is a former professional quarterback who played in the Canadian Football League. He is currently fourth in all-time professional football passing yards and second in all-time CFL passing yards after he was surpassed for first place by the Montréal Alouettes' Anthony Calvillo on October 10, 2011. He is pro-football's combined passing & rushing leader with a total of 84,301 yards. Allen retired as professional football's all-time leading passer with 72,381 passing yards after he surpassed Warren Moon's total of 70,553 yards on September 4, 2006 in the annual Labour Day Classic. He also retired in third place in all-time CFL rushing yards with 11,920 yards, behind Mike Pringle and George Reed. The 2007 season marked Allen's twenty-third season in the CFL and he officially announced his retirement on May 28, 2008 at age 44. Allen is the younger brother of Pro Football Hall of Famer Marcus Allen.

Tom Wilkinson is an American former professional football quarterback best known for his time with the Edmonton Eskimos of the Canadian Football League, where he played on six Grey Cup-winning teams. He was a Western Conference and CFL all-star quarterback in 1974, 1978 and 1979 and won the CFL's Most Outstanding Player Award in 1974. Wilkinson has been inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame.

Tony Gabriel

Anthony Michael Peter Gabriel is a former professional Canadian football pass receiver who played in the Canadian Football League from 1971 to 1981. He played for both the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and the Ottawa Rough Riders. He was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in August 1985. In 2014, he was inducted into the Ontario Sports Hall of Fame.

The 54th Grey Cup was hosted at Empire Stadium in Vancouver, British Columbia on November 26, 1966. The Saskatchewan Roughriders won their first Grey Cup after 53 years of competition for this trophy, after losing eight times. With Eagle Keys as head coach the Roughriders defeated the Ottawa Rough Riders led by Frank Clair by a score of 29-14. George Reed was the MVP with 31 rushes for 133 yards and one rushing touchdown. Ottawa lost despite two TD passes of over 60 yards to the speedy long-ball threat Whit Tucker. The gooseneck or slingshot field goal posts, invented by Jim Trimble and Joel Rottman, were installed for this game, marking its first appearance in a football championship game. They made their debut a week earlier at Montreal's new Autostade for the Eastern Conference finals. The game was called with four seconds left in regulation when fans swarmed the field in celebration.

Peter Adrian Liske is a former American football quarterback, star quarterback with Calgary Stampeders in the late-60s and later a university athletics administrator.

48th Grey Cup

The 48th Grey Cup was the Canadian Football League's (CFL) championship game of the 1960 season on November 26, 1960.

57th Grey Cup, the Canadian Football League's championship game, was played November 30, 1969, and the Ottawa Rough Riders defeated the Saskatchewan Roughriders 29–11 before 33,172 fans at Montreal's Autostade. It was the first time since 1931, a break of 38 years, that the CFL title match would be played in Montreal.

Ronald L. Stewart is a former professional Canadian football running back for the Ottawa Rough Riders of the Canadian Football League. He played for 13 seasons for the Rough Riders, winning three Grey Cup championships and won the CFL's Most Outstanding Canadian Award in 1960. He played college football for the Queen's Golden Gaels.

John William "Red" O'Quinn was a gridiron football end.

Jim Foley is a former award-winning slotback in the Canadian Football League. He was drafted by the Montreal Alouettes in the 1970 CFL College Draft, winning the CFL's Rookie of the Year Award in 1971, and later won the 1975 Most Outstanding Canadian Award and two Grey Cups with the Ottawa Rough Riders.

Whitman D. (Whit) Tucker is a former professional Canadian football flanker in the Canadian Football League who played the entirety of his career with the Ottawa Rough Riders. He was a CFL-All Star in 1967 and won two Grey Cup championships with Ottawa in 1968 and 1969.

Brian Fryer is a retired football player who starred at wide receiver for the University of Alberta, and played professionally for the Washington Redskins of the National Football League and the Edmonton Eskimos and Ottawa Rough Riders of the Canadian Football League.

Bill "The Undertaker" Baker is a former defensive end who played in Canadian Football League.

Jimmy Jones was an all-star quarterback in the Canadian Football League (CFL). Jones was a graduate of the University of Southern California (USC). He moved to Canada in 1973, and played for the Montreal Alouettes, Hamilton Tiger-Cats and the Ottawa Rough Riders, and helped lead the Alouettes to a Grey Cup win in 1974.

Frank Cosentino is a former Canadian football quarterback in the Canadian Football League (CFL) and a former head coach in University football. He played professionally for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, Edmonton Eskimos and Toronto Argonauts for ten years where he was a two-time Grey Cup champion, winning in 1963 and 1965. He was head coach of the Western Mustangs football team for five years where he led the team to two Vanier Cup wins in 1971 and 1974 before completing his coaching career with the York Yeomen. Cosentino was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 2018.

The 1969 Ottawa Rough Riders finished in 1st place in the Eastern Conference with an 11–3 record and won the Grey Cup, repeating as Grey Cup Champions. Russ Jackson retired from the Canadian Football League after this game, having won three Grey Cup championships. He retired with the team record for total career passing yards with 24,952.

Brad Sinopoli

Bradley Sinopoli is a Canadian football wide receiver for the Ottawa Redblacks of the Canadian Football League (CFL). He was originally a quarterback with the Calgary Stampeders before being converted to wide receiver in 2013. He played CIS football for the Ottawa Gee-Gees. In 2010, Sinopoli became the fourth Gee-Gee player to win the Hec Crighton Trophy after passing for a school record and CIS leading 2,756 passing yards and 22 touchdowns in eight games. Because of his strong season, he was one of only two quarterbacks invited to the CFL Evaluation Camp for players eligible in the 2011 CFL Draft.

William Ben Van Burkleo is a former defensive back in the Canadian Football League for the Toronto Argonauts, Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Ottawa Rough Riders, Calgary Stampeders and Hamilton Tiger-Cats. He played college football at the University of Tulsa.


  1. "Russ Jackson '58" . Retrieved December 19, 2020.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 "Hamilton's Russ Jackson walk of fame". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. September 24, 2012. Retrieved December 19, 2020.
  3. 1 2 "Russ Jackson by the numbers: Summary of a hall of fame football career". Ottawa Citizen. October 25, 2019. Retrieved December 19, 2020.
  4. Olderman, Murray (August 12, 1964). "Y. A. Tittle of North Intends to Stay There". The Nevada Daily Mail. Newspaper Enterprise Association. p. 4. Retrieved August 13, 2016.
  5. 1 2 "Russ Jackson". Hall of Famers. Canadian Football Hall of Fame. Retrieved December 21, 2008.
  6. 1 2 "CFL Guide & Record Book, 2017 Edition" (PDF). Canadian Football League . Retrieved December 19, 2020.
  7. "Google Search Result: Ottawa Citizen Article: Principals Named for Ottawa Schools". Ottawa Citizen. May 1, 1973. Retrieved September 22, 2012.
  8. "Russell S. Jackson, O.C., B.Sc". Order of Canada. Governor General of Canada . Retrieved December 21, 2008.[ permanent dead link ]
  9. "Russ Jackson attends the 2012 Canada Walk of Fame Awards" . Retrieved October 3, 2015.
  10. "Russ Jackson". Retrieved September 23, 2014.