By Kristen Odland
Terry Vaughn has many fond memories of Calgary, a city where he matured as a person and began his storied Canadian Football League career.
“I enjoyed my time in Calgary,” said the 39-year-old who now works for the state of Arizona in parole. “I spent a lot of time as a young adult there and kind of grew up there, a little bit. When I played, it was a good time for me.”
And in a few weeks, the former Calgary Stampeders receiver gets to return to the place where it all began.
Vaughn is being honoured for his long list of contributions to the CFL and is one of seven individuals who will be inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in Hamilton. Five other players, including former Stampeders quarterback Danny McManus, who had the bulk of his success at the helm of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats’ offence, Ticats defensive lineman Joe Montford, Ottawa Rough Riders linebacker Ken Lehmann and St. Mary’s quarterback Chris Flynn will be inducted.
In the builders’ category, head coach Don Matthews and university legend Gino Fracas (posthumously) will be inducted.
Calgary is hosting a series of events starting Sept. 14 to celebrate the class of 2011 with Calgary Herald publisher Guy Huntingford as chairman of the organizing committee with Calgary Stampeders senior vice-president, business development Lee Genier.
“We’re planning to put on a big festival,” Genier said. “It’ll give fans a chance to interact with the hall of famers and really honour them.
“It’s not just the greats in the CFL, it can be anyone that has played in any Canadian rank in football.”
The fun will kick off Sept. 14 with a welcome reception at the Delta Bow Valley followed by a celebrity poker tournament Sept. 15 at the Grey Eagle Casino. There will be a Hall of Fame breakfast Sept. 16 at the Delta Bow Valley and an induction dinner at the Telus Convention Centre.
Things wrap up Sept. 17 with the Stampeders game against the B.C. Lions at McMahon Stadium, which will feature a halftime Hall of Fame ceremony.
Full schedules and ticket details can be found at www.stampeders. com.
Funds raised from Hall of Fame week will be shared by the Canadian Football Hall of Fame and Museum in Hamilton, and amateur football groups in southern Alberta.
“You look at those guys in the last 30 or 40 years,” Genier said. “Don Matthews, Terry Vaughn . . . what they’ve contributed to the game and added to the very rich history.”
Vaughn spent four seasons with the Horsemen, playing under coach Wally Buono and with former Stampeders such as Dave Dickenson, Doug Flutie, Jeff Garcia, Travis Moore, Allen Pitts, Peewee Smith and Dave Sapunjis.
“I was fortunate enough to play with great players,” Vaughn said. “Not all guys have the fortune that I did to play with great players, hall-of-famers, and I did. And I think they made me a better player.
“I still keep in contact with certain guys and help out whenever I can. I don’t get to see them as much as I’d like, but when I do, it’s just like old times.”
He was a perennial CFL all-star and captured two Grey Cups, one with Calgary in 1998 and the other with Edmonton in 2003.
The South Carolina native and University of Arizona product enjoyed a 12-year playing career, which included stops in Edmonton, Montreal and Hamilton. Upon his retirement in 2007, he owned the record for most all-time receptions with 1,006, which was eclipsed by Ben Cahoon last season — on Oct. 11 against Calgary, no less. Vaughn still boasts the most 1,000-yard seasons, 11.
“I think (the Hall of Fame week) will be a celebration of one’s career,” he said. “For me, I didn’t really celebrate my career all that much when I was playing. I never really gave myself a whole lot of credit before the season or after the season.
“This week will allow me to look back at my career and say that I did a pretty good job.”
>> Learn more about Hall of Fame induction week
|Upcoming Games||View full schedule|
|Thu 20/06/13||Calgary||Saskatchewan||Thu 8:00 pm MDT|
|Fri 28/06/13||BC||Calgary||Fri 8:00 pm MDT|
|Fri 05/07/13||Calgary||Saskatchewan||Fri 7:00 pm MDT|
|Fri 12/07/13||Calgary||Montreal||Fri 5:30 pm MDT|
|Sat 20/07/13||Montreal||Calgary||Sat 5:00 pm MDT|