Image
THE UNIVERSITY OF OTTAWA


A TRADITION OF FOOTBALL SINCE 1881

 
Welcome to the 1975 University of Ottawa Gee Gees Vanier Cup Alumni site. With over 130 years of storied football tradition, the undefeated 1975 University of Ottawa Gee Gees Vanier Cup Championship team left the greatest legacy in the history of Canadian college football. 

This website is dedicated to all those parents, students, players, educators, coaches and fans who played a role in the success of the 75 team including all those great teams that came before them and to all those great teams who have followed in their footsteps.

 
The rich tradition of football at the University of Ottawa goes back as far as the late 1800s. The University of Ottawa has been a national football power since 1881, shortly after the formation of the Ontario Rugby Football Union. On November 8th, 1884, ten years after the first ever recorded football game was played between McGill University of Montreal and Harvard University, Harvard made its one and only trip to Canada’s national capital to play an exhibition game against the Ottawa College team. The University of Ottawa would win its first National Championship in 1887.

 
THE UNIVERSITY OF OTTAWA FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME
Class of 2015
Image
College Bowl Champions
Yates Cup Champions
Churchill Bowl Champions
                   
Image

In 2000, Bob Elliot, the great Toronto Sun sports writer over the past 40 years wrote:

 
  “Often people ask me what was the most exciting team that I ever covered? Was it the 1992 Toronto Blue Jays or the 1993 Blue Jays? Neither. My answer is the 1975 Ottawa Gee Gees!”

 

In 1974, after witnessing the University of Ottawa Gee Gees hand the McGill Redman the worst defeat in their storied history, Tim Burke, the renowned sports journalist for The Montreal Gazette wrote:

"I have just witnessed the greatest football team in Canadian College history!
 
About that game Burke wrote:

"Outlined piteously against the angry October rain swept sky the mighty Redman "blew" an early 7-6 lead in the game and when at last the hooves of the Ottawa U Gee Gees ceased trampling over their jerseys, the Redmen dragged themselves off the field and into the archives as the victims of the worst defeat ever inflicted on a McGill team."
 

It's official!
 

OTTAWA — The University of Ottawa football program and the Gee Gees Football Hall of Fame committee are pleased to announce the induction of the legendary undefeated 1975 Gee Gees into the OU Football Hall of Fame. The ceremony will take place on May 2, 2015 at the Chateau Laurier Hotel in Ottawa. 

THE 1975 GEE GEES

By the time the 1975 Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) football season was over the Gee Gees had amassed a perfect 11-0 record. After a perfect regular season, they won the Yates Cup, then the Churchill Bowl and the right to play for the National Championship of Canada and the Vanier Cup. The crowning achievement came on November 21,1975. The game was played at CNE Stadium in Toronto. That night the Gee Gees became the first undefeated team in Vanier Cup history. Perhaps the most astonishing individual achievement of all is that when All-Star quarterback Jim Colton was injured during the Vanier Cup game the Gee Gees were lead to victory by back up quarterback Yves Leclerc. Besides being a gifted athlete, Yves was also a gifted student. Yves was 16 years old at the time!

Today, some 40 years later, the 75 team still holds several Canadian Interuniversity Sports (CIS) and OUAA team and individual records. Players from the 1975 team were selected to the CIS All-Canadian team 13 times during their college careers. During their CIS careers players from the 1975 team were selected as OUAA All-Stars 42 times. As of 2014, 14 Gee Gees from the 1975 team (11 players, 3 coaches) have been inducted into the University of Ottawa Football Hall of Fame. 

In all, 21 players from the 1975 Vanier Cup Championship team would go on to be selected in the Canadian Football League (CFL) draft, a CIS record. This record, one that may never be broken, is even more remarkable considering that an additional 10 Americans from the 1975 team were not eligible for the CFL Draft. Those American players included Tim Leach, Pat Leach, Steve Carlo, Peter Hazzan, Ken Guarisco, Brian Keating, Jim Colton, David “DT” White, Sam Miller and Paul Britzky. All but 3 of these Gee Gees would be selected as CIS All-Canadians and OUAA All-Stars multiple times during their CIS careers.

The 1975 Gee Gees had All-Stars at every position. They had not only 1 great running back, they had 3 All-Canadian running backs including Neil Lumsden (All Canadian-1975), Billy Harrison (All-Canadian-1975) Mike Murphy (All Canadian-1976). All 3 were 1rst round picks in the CFL draft. No one in the history of the CIS has scored more career points than Lumsden (410). Since 1975 no one in CIS history has scored more points in a single season than did Neil Lumsden (148). Only 1 player has come close. That player was his running mate, Mike Murphy (144). It took 28 years for another team in the OUAA (2003 Mc Master) to score more touchdowns in an 8 game season than did the 1975 Gee Gees team scored in 7 games (43). Lumsden and Murphy both went on to be voted CFL Eastern Conference Rookie of the Year (1976-77). Lumsden was voted the Grey Cup’s Canadian MVP in 1981. Lumsden was inducted into the CFL Hall of Fame in 2014. In addition to their 3 All-Canadian running backs, the 1975 Gee Gee’s passing game was led by OUAA All-Star QB Jim Colton, a native of Buffalo, NY.

The 1975 Gee Gees wide receivers included 2 time All-Canadian Jeff Avery and Rocky Di Pietro. They too would be CFL 1rst round picks. Rocky Di Pietro retired after 14 years in the CFL with the Hamilton Tiger Cats as the league’s all-time leading pass receiver. Rocky was awarded the CFL Outstanding Canadian in 1982 and again in 1989. He was inducted into the CFL Hall of Fame in 1997. Avery went on to play for 7 years in the CFL with the Ottawa Rough Riders and would become a 2 time CFL Eastern Division All-Star and a Grey Cup Champion in 1976.

With the exception of 2 kickers, no player in the history of the CFL has had a longer career than did Miles Gorrell. Miles played for 19 years. He was a 5 time CFL Eastern Division All-Star, 2 Time CFL Outstanding Lineman finalist. Miles was inducted into the CFL Hall of Fame in 2013.  


Few players in CFL history own more Grey Cup rings (5) than does former Edmonton Eskimo captain Eric Upton. Eric played in the CFL for 10 years. In addition too Upton there would be 5 other Grey Cup Champions from that 1975 Gee Gees team. Neil Lumsden went on to be a 3 time Grey Cup Champion. Miles Gorrell, Jeff Avery, Doug Falconer, and Rocky Di Pietro would all go on to be Grey Cup Champions. Together, all of their names have been inscribed on the Grey Cup. 

Collectively players from the 1975 team played in the CFL for 91 years: 

 
Eric Upton: Guard - 10 Years CFL Edmonton Eskimos, 3 time Western All-Star, 6 Grey Cup appearances, 5 time Grey Cup Champion 
 

Rocky DiPietro: Slotback - 14 Years CFL Hamilton Tiger Cats, CFL All-Time Pass Reception Leader, Canadian Football Hall of Fame Inductee, 2 time CFL Outstanding Canadian, 3 time Lew Hayman Trophy Outstanding Canadian Eastern Division, 5 time Eastern All-Star, 4 Grey Cup appearances, 1986 Grey Cup Champion 
 

Neil Lumsden: Fullback/Kicker - 10 Years CFL Toronto Argonauts/Hamilton Tiger-Cats/Edmonton Eskimos, Winner 1976 Frank M Gibson Trophy CFL Outstanding Rookie Eastern Division, 2 Time Eastern Division All-Star, 1981 Grey Cup Canadian MVP, 3 time Grey Cup Champion 
 

Miles Gorrell: Offensive Tackle - 19 Years CFL Calgary Stampeders/Hamilton Tiger-Cats/Montreal Alouettes/Winnipeg Blue Bombers, 5 time Eastern Division All-Star, 2 time Winner Leo Dandurand Trophy CFL Outstanding Lineman Eastern Division, 5 Grey Cup appearances, 1 time Grey Cup Champion
 

Jeff Avery: Wide Receiver- 7 Years CFL Ottawa Rough Riders, 1 time Eastern Division All-Star, 2 Grey Cup appearances, 1976 Grey Cup Champion
 

Doug Falconer: Defensive Back - 4 Years CFL Ottawa Rough Riders/Calgary Stampeders, 1976 Grey Cup Champion 
 

Al Moffat: Defensive Tackle - 6 Years CFL Hamilton Tiger Cats, 1 time Eastern Division All-Star, 1 Grey Cup appearance
 

Mike Murphy: Fullback - 5 Years CFL, Winner 1977 Frank M. Gibson Trophy CFL Outstanding Rookie Eastern Division
 

Tim Berryman: Linebacker - 7 Years CFL EdmontonEskimos/Ottawa Rough Riders, 1 Grey Cup appearance
 

Bill Harrison: Halfback - 5 Years CFL Hamilton Tiger-Cats/Toronto Argonauts 
 

Ian MacPherson: Defensive Tackle - 3 Years CFL Hamilton Tiger-Cats 
 

Terry West: Defensive Back- 1 Year CFL Toronto Argonauts

 
 
As the 1975 Gee Gees team moved through their professional careers in the Canadian Football League, awards presented to them include:

 
3 CFL & Canadian Football Hall of Fame Inductees

1 Grey Cup MVP Canadian

2 CFL Frank M Gibson Trophies for Outstanding Rookie Eastern Division

2 CFL Leo Dandurand Trophy Outstanding Lineman Eastern Division

2 CFL Outstanding Canadian Awards

20 CFL and Divisional All-Star Selections

23 Grey Cup Appearances

12 Grey Cup Rings

The 1975 Gee Gees Head Coach was Don Gilbert, a former CFL great. Gilbert was awarded the Frank Tindell Award as the top collegiate coach in Canada in 1975. In 2000 Don was inducted into the University of Ottawa Football Hall of Fame. In 2003 Don was inducted into the City of Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame along with Buffalo Saber great Dominik Hasek and the Buffalo Bills great running back Thurman Thomas.

The Coordinator of Intercollegiate Sports in 1975 was CFL Hall of Famer and long-time CFL coach and general manager Bob O Billovich.

 
Image
UNIVERSITY OF OTTAWA

Located in the heart of Canada’s National Capital, at the juncture of French and English Canada, the University of Ottawa has held a unique place on the Canadian academic map from its inception. Long a meeting ground for two of the prominent intellectual and scientific traditions of the western world, it is the oldest and largest bilingual university in North America. Established by the Oblate Fathers as the College of Bytown in 1848, the institution moved from Lower Town to its present location in Sandy Hill in 1856. In 1861, the College, like the city in which it is located, was renamed and five years later was elevated to university status by royal charter. Rev. Joseph-Henri Tabaret, OMI, three times rector of the College for a total of 30 years during the 19th century, is generally regarded as the builder of the University. The University of Ottawa has been conferring undergraduate degrees since 1872, master's degrees since 1875 and PhDs since 1888. In 2010 enrollment at the university exceeds 40,000 students.
 
 
Image
CHAMPIONS OF CANADA
1887
Image
CHAMPIONS OF CANADA
1901
Hit counter: 82868