Former Alouettes Green Owens inducted into Canadian Soccer Hall of Fame

They join Weston Dressler, Marvin Coleman and Vince Goldsmith, with former CFL coach Ray Jauch and amateur football icon Ed Laverty (posthumously) selected as builders.

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TORONTO – A career that began on the practice roster has earned Chad Owens a spot in the Canadian Football Hall of Fame.

The electrifying returner/receiver headlined a stellar 2024 class announced Friday. Also named were players SJ Green, Weston Dressler, Marvin Coleman and Vince Goldsmith, with former CFL coach Ray Jauch and amateur football icon Ed Laverty (posthumously) selected as builders.

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Joining the hall’s media wing are Steve Daniel, CFL associate vice president of football analytics, and TSN reporter Farhan Lalji.

All will be consecrated on September 13 in Hamilton.

The five-foot-eight, 180-pound Owens, nicknamed The Flyin’ Hawaiian, spent 10 seasons with Montreal (2009), Toronto (2010-15), Hamilton (2016, 2018) and Saskatchewan (2017). Owens was a four-time All-Star, twice the league’s top special teams player and its standout player.

“This is the ultimate thing you can achieve as a professional athlete… the highest,” Owens said. “It falls into the box of the most important things in my life. Period.

“And definitely from my football career.”

Owens, 42, recorded 521 career receptions for 6,217 yards and 26 touchdowns. He also had 4,027 punt return yards (11-yard average, five touchdowns) and 5,479 kickoff return yards, accumulating 16,698 yards combined.

Owens spent most of 2009 on the practice roster as Montreal advanced to the first of two consecutive Gray Cups. Owens was traded to Toronto on June 24, 2010, and the Honolulu native’s career exploded with the first major special teams award that year.

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In 2012, Owens set a single-season pro football record of 3,863 combined yards to claim the CFL’s outstanding player award. He also set career highs in receptions (94) and yards (1,328) as Toronto defeated Calgary 35-22 in the 100th Gray Cup before a crowd of 53,208 at Rogers Centre.

“For me, (the move to Toronto) was a perfect opportunity to come in, compete and show my skills,” Owens said. “I wanted to make an impact on my new teammates and immediately that established something special.

“But my experience in Montreal was not in vain. They were stacked and (head coach) Marc Trestman and (offensive coordinator) Scott Milanovich were there. “Scott comes in (as Toronto head coach in 2012) and I already knew what time it was, what to expect.”

Owens never had to look far for inspiration.

“Weston, from a receiving perspective, was that guy. . be small like me but play big,” Owens said. “SJ would come in with this big, spectacular catch and it was the highlight of TSN and that’s how I wanted it.

“But everything was good between us, no animosity, no ego, just respect at the highest level and we fed off that competition. “I couldn’t be more excited to be involved with those two guys.”

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Dressler, 38, played with Saskatchewan (2008-15) and Winnipeg (2016-18), recording 715 receptions for 10,026 yards and 61 TDs. The five-foot-seven, 168-pound native of Bismarck, ND, was the CFL’s top rookie in 2008 and a two-time All-Star who made two Gray Cup appearances, winning in 2013 in Regina with the Roughriders.

“I think (being named to the Hall of Fame) is still settling in for me,” Dressler said. “I had no idea what I was getting into, I saw (CFL) as an opportunity to continue playing football. . . He was grateful for it.

“As my career progressed during those early years in Saskatchewan, I realized what the CFL was about, what the Roughriders were about, and I fell in love with it all.”

The six-foot-three, 216-pound Green was a fluid receiver with Montreal (2007-16) and Toronto (2017-19). Green, 38, recorded 716 receptions for 10,222 yards with 60 TDs.

He suffered a serious knee injury in early 2016, but posted career highs in receptions (104) and yards (1,462) the following season with Toronto. The Argos would win the Gray Cup, Green’s third (2009-10 with Montreal).

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Green also spent time on Montreal’s practice roster, but said it was a blessing.

“Those days were probably the most important days of my career,” Green said. “I got to sit and listen to Coach Trestman coach AC (quarterback Anthony Calvillo), I got to listen to him coach (receivers) Ben Cahoon, Kerry Watkins and Jamel Richardson.

“I heard all the mistakes they made. When my opportunity came, it was easy not to make those mistakes because I had heard them train many times.”

Goldsmith, 64, was a dominant defensive lineman with Saskatchewan (1981-83, 1988-90), Toronto (1984) and Calgary (1985-87). He was the CFL’s top rookie in 1981 with 17 sacks and two years later he posted a career-high 20.

Goldsmith had 10 or more sacks eight times and finished with 130.5 (eighth all-time). He won a Gray Cup in ’89 with Saskatchewan.

Coleman, 52, was another dual threat. The five-foot-nine, 170-pound cornerback played with Calgary (1994-2000) and Winnipeg (2001-03) and was a three-time league All-Star with 28 interceptions (six return TDs) and 538 tackles.

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Coleman ranks fourth all-time in punt return yards (5,211) and seventh in kickoff return yards (11,545) and scored seven return touchdowns. He played in four Gray Cups, winning twice with Calgary.

Jauch, 86, played in the ’59 Rose Bowl as a running back with Iowa and was drafted in the first round of the AFL by Buffalo, but opted for Winnipeg.

He suffered a career-ending torn Achilles tendon in Winnipeg’s ’61 Gray Cup victory over Hamilton. Jauch became Edmonton’s running backs coach in 1966 before being promoted to head coach in 1970.

Jauch served as head coach of Edmonton (1970-76), Winnipeg (1978-82) and Saskatchewan (1994-95). He had 127 regular season wins (sixth all time) and in 1975 led Edmonton to its first Gray Cup victory since 1956.

Jauch was the ’80 CFL Coach of the Year.

Laverty served as president of the Ottawa Nepean Touch Football League from 1964 to 2015. He held a similar position with the Ontario Touch Football League for more than 10 years and helped launch Touch Football Canada.

Laverty was inducted into the Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame in 2014.

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