Canadian Football Hall of Fame Showcases CFL Talent with 2024 Inductees

By Chris Lawton

The Canadian Football Hall of Fame is not, as sometimes mistakenly said the CFL Hall of Fame. Rather it is a place that represents all levels of football in Canada, both amateur and professional. There are two main areas for nomination to the Hall. As a builder (think Coach, administrator, someone involved in building the game). So, for example this season we have former CFL coach Ray Jauch and former leader in Canadian touch football organisation Ed Laverty entering the Hall in this category. Beside the main categories, there is also a media wing to the Hall – so 2024 will see longtime CFL statistician Steve Daneil and TSN’s Farhan Lalji are being inducted into the media wing.

But of course, the area that elicits most interest is the player category. This year five former CFL players are entering the Hall. One DE/LB, one DB, and notably three receivers who are entering the Hall together. Let’s take a closer look at the future inductees who will be officially enshrined on Friday September the 13th.

Marvin Coleman: 1994-2000 Calgary Stampeders, 2001-2003 Winnipeg Blue Bombers

Games Played: 166 Tackles: 538 Interceptions: 28, Kick return yards: 11,545. TD’s: 13

CFL All-Star: 1996, 1997, 2000. Division All-Star: 1996-1998, 2000-2001.

Marvin Coleman was an outstanding cornerback and kick returner in the CFL for ten seasons from 1994 to 2003.  Coleman started his career and played 7 seasons with the Stampeders before becoming a free agent and finishing his career with three seasons in Winnipeg.  Coleman had 28 career interceptions, returning 6 of them for touchdowns and having a career high of 7 in 1996.  Coleman had over a thousand yards a season on kick-off returns three times (1996, 1997 and 1998) and returned a total of 7 kicks for touchdowns – one on kick-offs, five on punts and one on a missed field goal.  That touchdown on a missed field goal return went 108 yards and was the longest of Coleman’s career.

In Calgary Coleman remains the franchise’s all-time leader in punt-return yards (4,696), kick-off-return yards (5,331) and punt-return touchdowns (five). He also returned three of his 20 career interceptions as a Stampeder for a touchdown.

Vince Goldsmith: 1981-1983 Saskatchewan Roughriders, 1984 Toronto Argonauts, 1985-1987 Calgary Stampeders, 1988-1990 Saskatchewan Roughriders

Games Played: 163 Sacks: 103.5 Tackles: 129 (only recorded from 1987 onwards)

CFL All-Star: 1983. Division All-Star: 1981, 1983, 1988.

Goldsmith broke into the CFL with Saskatchewan in 1981. He had an instant impact with 17 Quarterback sacks in his rookie season and won the Outstanding Rookie Award as well as being named to the West All-Star team.  Goldsmith had another 12.5 sacks in 1982, and then set a career high with 20 in 1983 as he won his second West All-Star honour and his lone CFL All-Star award. He was traded to Toronto and recorded 12 sacks in his single season in Double Blue.

In 1985 Goldsmith signed as a free agent with Calgary. He had 6 sacks that season before recording 15 sacks in 1986 and 12 in 1987.  Also, in 1987, Goldsmith recovered five fumbles, returning two of them for touchdowns. He rounded out his career back in Saskatchewan. There he recorded 98 tackles and 36 sacks over three years and was a member of the second Grey Cup winning team in Roughriders history in 1989.

Which brings us to the three receivers who are entering the Hall together, Weston Dressler, SJ Green and Chad Owen who were all contemporaries in the league and franchise level players for their teams.

Weston Dressler: Saskatchewan Roughriders 2008-13, 2014-15, Winnipeg Blue Bombers 2016-2018

Embed from Getty Images

Games Played: 161 Receptions: 715 Receiving Yards: 10,026 TD’s: 61.

CFL All-Star: 2012-2013. Division All-Star: 2009, 2011-2013.  

Dressler made an immediate impact in the CFL in 2008, taking home Most Outstanding Rookie honours with 56 receptions for 1,128 yards, and 1,014 punt return yards.

From 2008 to 2013 he was remarkably consistent making 442 receptions for 6,531 yards and 44 touchdowns in his first six seasons in green and white. He would catch a touchdown from Darian Durant in the 101st Grey Cup as the Roughriders won at home 45-23. Dressler saw out his career in Winnipeg where he broke the 1,000 yards receiving mark for the sixth and final time in 2016.

SJ Green: Montreal Alouettes 2007-2016, Toronto Argonauts 2017-2019

Embed from Getty Images

Games Played: 170 Receptions: 716 Receiving Yards: 10,222 TD’s: 60.

CFL All-Star: 2013, 2017. Division All-Star: 2011-2015, 2017-2019.

SJ Green was one of those receivers that made highlight worthy catches look routine to him over the course of his career.

Green is a three-time Grey Cup champion, winning in 2009 & 2010 with Montreal and 2017 with Toronto. Between 2010 and 2015 he had 413 catches for 6201 yards and 38 touchdowns in Montreal. After injury derailed his 2016 season he was traded to Toronto where he made a strong finish to his career. From 2017-2019 with the Boatmen, he had 272 catches for 3,596 yards and 18 touchdowns. 104 catches and 1462 yards in 2017 as Toronto went on to lift the Grey Cup were career highs.

Chad Owens: Montreal Alouettes 2009, Toronto Argonauts 2010-2015, Hamilton Tiger-Cats 2016, Saskatchewan Roughriders 2017

Embed from Getty Images

Games Played: 105 Receptions: 521 Receiving Yards: 6,217, Kick Return Yards: 10,309, TD’s: 35.

CFL All-Star: 2010-2012, 2014. Division All-Star: 2010-2014.

The Flyin’ Hawaiian was a superstar all-rounder when it came to receiving and returns, especially in his stint in Toronto. He may have got a ring with the 2009 Alouettes, having been on the practice squad and in a single game, but it was with the Argonauts that he really made his name.

He was the CFL’s Most Outstanding Special Teams Player in 2010 & 2011 and the league’s Most Outstanding Player in 2012. A three-year span that bookended him becoming the first pro football player to record 3,000 combined yards in three consecutive seasons. The peak being a CFL record in 2012 when he finished the season with 3863 all-purpose yards.

So there we have it, this years CFL players headed to the Canadian Football Hall of Fame. All deserving, even if some have had to wait longer than others.



Chris originally started following the NFL with the ‘first wave’ of fans when it was shown on Channel 4 in the 1980’s. He has been a keen supporter of the Miami Dolphins since 1983. Chris first encountered the CFL in 2016 and instantly fell in love with the Canadian game. He has been writing about the CFL 2017. Chris has a degree in history, postgraduate degree in librarianship and can be found on twitter as @CFLfanUK