1909 — Football in Calgary dates back to 1909 with the emergence of the Calgary Tigers in the newly-formed Alberta Rugby Union. The Tigers were a dominant force in provincial
football for four years as they captured the Western Canadian Crown in 1911.
1915 — The Tigers gave way to a new team in Calgary — the Calgary Canucks — that only played until 1919, because of World War I. An official league was never formed.
1923 — Football returned to Calgary. The “Fiftieth Battalion” was formed, named for the military battalion that provided organization support.
1924 — The Fiftieth won the Alberta title but was downed by Winnipeg in the Western final.
1928 — Football in Calgary took a four-year hiatus until the Tigers resurfaced in 1928, and made history that year with the first forward pass in Canadian football.
1931 — The Calgary Altomahs began a four-year existence, playing at the 2,000-seat Mewata Stadium.
1935 — The Altomahs gave way to the Calgary Bronks in 1935, and became part of the Western Inter-Provincial Football Union (W.I.P.F.).
1938 — The Bronks took the league championship in 1938.
1940 — Senior football in Calgary ended in 1940 when World War II began.
The Stamps (and champs) are born
1945 — The Stamps played their first game on Oct. 27, 1945 in Regina against the
Roughriders. The result was a 3-1 win. There was no regular season in 1945 and after beating Regina 15-1 in a two-game total-point series, Calgary lost to Winnipeg in the West final.
1948 — A perfect season! The Stamps rolled through the regular season with a 12-0 record before dispatching the Ottawa Rough Riders 12-7 in the Grey Cup. Normie Hill and Pete Thodos (right) scored for the champs to conclude the only undefeated season in CFL history.
1948 — Stamps fans who made the trip to Toronto were responsible for turning Grey Cup into the week-long party it is today. Several faithful traveled by train to Toronto and a classic bit of Grey Cup folklore is Calgary alderman Don Mackay riding a horse into the lobby of the Royal York Hotel.
1949 — Calgary’s winning streak continued until Oct. 22, when a 9-6 loss to the Saskatchewan Roughriders halted the run at 22 triumphs. It’s a record that still stands. The Stamps got to the Grey Cup again but lost 28-15 to the Montreal Alouettes in Toronto.
1958 — Don Luzzi became the first Calgary player to win a CFL Award when he was named the league’s Outstanding Lineman.
1960 — George McMahon was elected president of the Stamps and, soon after, plans for a new stadium were announced and construction began. Within 103 days, the club had a sparkling new home and Stamps directors named it McMahon Stadium, after George and his brother Frank. Calgary lost its new-home debut, 38-23 to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
1961 — Earl “Earthquake” Lunsford set a CFL record by rushing for 1,794 yards in a season. The mark stood until Stamps running back Willie Burden rolled up 1,896 yards in 1975.
1961 — Tony Pajaczkowski won the CFL Award as Top rookie and fellow Stampeder Harvery Wylie took the award a year later.
1964 — Running back Lovell Coleman became the first Stampeder to win the Schenley Award as the CFL’s Most Outstanding Player.
1966 — Hall of Fame linebacker Wayne “Thumper” Harris was voted the league’s best defensive player for the second year in a row.
1967 — Harris was the recipient of the first President’s Ring — an award voted on by players and awarded to the Calgary player who best combines performance, sportsmanship and contribution to the team. Quarterback Peter Liske was the league’s Most Outstanding Player.
1967 — Head coach Jerry Williams became the first Red and White boss to win the Annis Stukus Trophy, which goes to the CFL’s top coach of the year. Williams guided the Stamps to a 12-4 record, following a 6-9-1 mark in 1966.
1968 — The white running horse logo was worn on Calgary helmets for the first time.
1968 — Nearly 20 seasons after their last Grey Cup appearance, the Stamps returned to face the Ottawa Rough Riders in Toronto. After taking a 14-4 halftime lead — thanks to a Terry Evanshen touchdown catch and a Liske run — the Stamps unraveled in the second half. Ottawa quarterback Russ Jackson would do just enough to beat Calgary 24-21.
1970 — After finishing third in the West Division with a 9-7 record, the Stamps played four post-season games to earn a Grey Cup date against the Montreal Alouettes in Toronto. Hugh McKinnis scored an early touchdown run but it would prove to be Calgary’s only major in a 23-10 defeat.
1971 — For the third time in four years, the Stamps made it to the championship match. This was the first with a happy ending. Facing the Toronto Argonauts in Vancouver, Hall of Fame receiver Herm Harrison opened the scoring on 14-yard pass from Hall of Fame quarterback Jerry Keeling. Jesse Mims also had a scoring run and the Stamps fended off Toronto — with help of the infamous “Leon McQuay Fumble” — for a 14-11 triumph and the second title in franchise history. Harris was the MVP and defensive lineman Dick Suderman was the Top Canadian.
1971 — Harris was voted the league’s best defensive player for the second year in a row.
1974 — Stamps defensive lineman John Helton, a future Hall of Famer, was named Top Defensive Player in the CFL. Two years earlier, he was named the CFL’s Top Lineman.
1975 — The Stampeders and City of Calgary hosted the Grey Cup for the first time. The Edmonton Eskimos defeated the Montreal Alouettes 9-8 at McMahon Stadium, as Canadian kickers (Dave Cutler for Edmonton and Don Sweet for the Als) accounted for all the points.
1975 — Willie Burden set a CFL record with 1,896 rushing yards in a single season. Mike Pringle would twice surpass that total (1994 and 1998) but Burden’s average of 118.5 yards per game remains the best ever. Burden’s total came in 16 games, while Pringle established the CFL record of 2,065 in 1998 in an 18-game season (114.7 average).
1976 — The worst season in franchise history — 2-12-2 — under head coach Bob Baker and in-season replacement Joe Tiller.
1978 — After a seven-year absence from the post-season, Calgary returned and pounded Winnipeg 38-4 in the West Division semifinal. A week later, the Stamps lost to Edmonton in the West final.
1979 — The Stamps defeated the B.C. Lions 37-2 in the West Division semifinal but a long drought ensued . . . they wouldn’t win another playoff game until 1991.
1986 — One bright spot in a generally dismal decade came when defensive tackle Harold Hallman won the CFL’s Most Outstanding Rookie Award and was named to the All-Canadian team.
1986 — The Stampeder franchise was on the verge of folding. The organization started an “S.O.S” (Save Our Stamps) drive that created 22,400 season tickets and saved the team.
1989 — After going 10 years without a playoff game at McMahon Stadium, the Stamps returned with a home date against Saskatchewan in the West Division semifinal. The thrill was short-lived, as the ‘Riders won 35-26.
The Wally Era
1990 — Stamps president Normie Kwong hired Wally Buono, an assistant with the club, as head coach and the club’s fortunes began a rapid upward ascent.
1990 — Calgary finished first in the West Division for the first time since 1971 but lost to Edmonton in the West final.
1991 — Calgary businessman Larry Ryckman privatized the Calgary Stampeder Football Club on Oct. 23 and became its sole owner.
1992 — Four months after taking over the Stamps, Ryckman hired quarterback Doug Flutie to a personal services contract and the foundation was built for a dynasty through the decade. As a member of the Stamps, Flutie won CFL MVP honours in 1992, 1993 and 1994.
1992 — Led by Flutie’s 480 passing yards, the Stamps defeated Winnipeg 24-10 to win the third Grey Cup in club history. Flutie was the MVP and Stamps slotback Dave Sapunjis was the Top Canadian.
1995 — The Stamps celebrated their 50th anniversary on Sunday, Oct. 22 with an 18-15 win over Saskatchewan.
1995 — Calgary returned to the Cup but lost 37-20 to the Baltimore Stallions who became the first, and only, American team ever to win the league championship.
1995 — Dave Sapunjis was named CFL’s Top Canadian for the second time in three seasons.
1996 — Calgary businessman Sig Gutsche, through a successful bid, became the club’s second private owner.
1996 — Running back Kelvin Anderson became the second Calgary player to earn CFL Top Rookie honours. He rushed for 1,068 yards and 10 touchdowns on 240 carries.
1998 — Grey Cup No. 4 was earned at Winnipeg Stadium. A last-play, 35-yard field goal by Mark McLoughlin gave the Stamps a 26-24 triumph over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Jeff Garcia went on to National Football League fame after earning MVP honours in the win. Slotback Vince Danielsen was the Top Canadian.
1998 — Fred Childress became the first — and only — Stamps offensive lineman to win the CFL award for Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman.
2000 — With nine receptions against Winnipeg on Aug. 16, Allen Pitts passed Don Narcisse on the all-time CFL receptions list. A year earlier, Pitts set CFL records for receiving yards and touchdown catches. He retired after the 2000 season with 966 catches for 14,891 yards and 117 touchdown receptions.
2000 — The heavily-favoured Stamps lost to the B.C. Lions in the West final at McMahon Stadium and blew a chance to play a Grey Cup in their own ballpark. A week later, quarterback Dave Dickenson was named the league’s Most Outstanding Player.
2001 — Gutsche entered into an agreement with California businessman Michael Feterik, who became the third private owner in club history.
2001 — Led by Grey Cup MVP Marcus Crandell and a tenacious defence, the Stamps upset Winnipeg 27-19 for their fifth championship. Aldi Henry was the Top Canadian after blocking a punt that swung the game’s momentum.
2003 — Defensive tackle Joe Fleming became the first defensive player since Harris to receive CFL Top Defensive Player honours.
2003 — After 153 wins in 13 seasons at the helm, Buono left the Stamps because of the meddling and unorthodox ownership methods of Feterik. Two new coaches — Jim Barker and Matt Dunigan — failed to bring success in the ensuing years.
2004 — Nik Lewis was Calgary’s third CFL Rookie off the Year after catching 72 passes for 1,045 yards and eight touchdowns.
2005 — A group of Calgary businessmen comprised of former players and community-minded individuals purchased the club from Feterik and began pointing it back towards to its former glory. Ted Hellard, Doug Mitchell and John Forzani were among the group’s more public faces, while Sapunjis and Bob Viccars were among the former Stamps players.
2007 — The Stamps played their 1,000th game in franchise history — a 45-45 overtime draw with the B.C. Lions at McMahon Stadium on Aug. 17.
2008 — After three years of decent regular seasons but no playoff success, former Stamps quarterback and offensive coordinator John Hufnagel was brought back to the club as head coach/general manager. He was given a long-term contract and complete control of all football matters. The result was a 13-5 record and first place in the West Division, a West Final win over the BC Lions and a Grey Cup championship thanks to a victory against Montreal.
2010 — The Stampeders celebrate their 65th anniversary as well as the 50th anniversary of McMahon Stadium.
2013 — Stamps running back Jon Cornish becomes the first Canadian to win the CFL’s Most Outstanding Player award since Tony Gabriel in 1978. Cornish was also given the Lou Marsh Trophy as Canada’s top athlete.
2014 — The Stamps tie a franchise record with 15 regular-season victories and then beat Edmonton in the Western Final and Hamilton in the Grey Cup to claim the seventh championship in franchise history. During the season, quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell tied the CFL record for most consecutive victories as a starter from the beginning of his career with seven.
2016 — With a 15-2-1 record for 31 standings points, the Stamps set a new franchise single-season record under first-year head coach Dave Dickenson. Calgary’s season included a 14-game winning streak and a 16-game unbeaten streak. The Stamps took home five trophies at the CFL awards night including coach of the year (Dickenson), Most Outstanding Player (Bo Levi Mitchell), Most Outstanding Canadian (Jerome Messam), Most Outstanding Rookie (DaVaris Daniels) and Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman (Derek Dennis).