The Rough Riders returned to the Dominion final in 1939, 1940, 1948 and 1951, defeating Toronto Balmy Beach and Saskatchewan respectively in 1940 and 1951. Coach Frank Clair and quarterback Russ JACKSON, probably the greatest Canadian ever to play that position, took Ottawa to Grey Cups in 1960, 1966, 1968 and 1969, losing only to Saskatchewan in 1966. In 1973 Jack Gotta coached the Riders to another Cup victory and his successor George Brancato won the championship in 1976 and lost to Edmonton in 1981.
The present stadium at Lansdowne Park was opened in 1967 (and now seats 34 838), although the site has been their home since the early 1900s. During the 1980s, a succession of coaches and general managers was unable to produce a winning team. In 1989, Jo-Anne Polak was hired as general manager, the first female general manager in major professional sports. Serious financial difficulties brought about by poor on-field results led the community ownership to disband halfway through the 1991 season. The CFL took over operations of the team, and after uncertain terms of ownership under Detroit businessman Bernie Glieberman and Horn Chen the team was disbanded after the 1996 season.
Ottawa was without a franchise in the Canadian Football League from 1997 to 2002 until a revamped team, now called the Renegades, joined the CFL. Throughout its history the team has appeared in 16 Grey Cup games; from 1950 onward it won 6 and lost 3. The Renegades play their home games at Frank Clair Stadium, an outdoor facility that seats 30 927. Team colours are black, red and white.
Author DEREK DRAGER Revised: FRANK COSENTINO
Links to Other Sites
The website for the Historica-Dominion Institute, parent organization of The Canadian Encyclopedia and the Encyclopedia of Music in Canada. Check out their extensive online feature about the War of 1812, the "Heritage Minutes" video collection, and many other interactive resources concerning Canadian history, culture, and heritage.
Football: Russ Jackson
Watch an exciting video clip about the career of Canadian-born football great Russ Jackson. From the Historica-Dominion Institute.
A not-so-brief history of Ottawa football
See a chronology of the sport of football in Ottawa. From the CBC website.
Team Retro Profile: Ottawa Rough Riders
See historical highlights of Ottawa's professional football teams from the website for the Canadian Football League website.
Tsn25: Ottawa's Rough Riders, Renegades, and Senators
TSN.ca covers the ups and downs of pro sports franchises in our nation's capital.