Former CFL stars Ricky Ray and Chip Cox are set to enter the Hall of Fame in their first year of qualification. Pi News

News Details

Quarterback Ricky Ray’s famous CFL career started from a simple beginning.

- Advertisement -

Long before winning four Gray Trophies, Ray worked as a Fritto-Lane delivery driver following his college career in the state of Sacramento. In 2000 he attended the San Francisco 49ers camp as an unstructured free agent which earned him the nickname “Fritto Ray”.

Read more: Former Edmonton quarterback Ricky Ray named Wall of Honor

On Tuesday, Ray and former Montreal linebacker Chip Cox were named to enter the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in their first years of qualification. Also selected were kicker Paul McCullum, fullback Tim Tyndale and two-way star Dick Thornton.

Former CFL head coach Dave Richie, longtime team manager Roy Shivers and Calgary Golds founder Keith Evans have been named as builders. All will be added to Tim Hortons Field in Hamilton on September 16th.

The story continues below the ad

“It’s been a long journey for me, coming out of Sacramento State. “I would never have dreamed about this.

“Growing up, playing was a big part of my life, I watched countless games and then went to the yard and tried to reactivate those games and played with my friends. You know for sure what the Hall of Fame is all about and you want to get that feeling one day.

Read more: Toronto Arcos quarterback Ricky Ray announces retirement after 17 seasons

Ray, 42, started 219-off-235 career regular-season games and 14 playoff games in 16 CFL seasons with Edmonton and Toronto. He began his Canadian tenure fourth on the deep table in Edmonton in 2002, before becoming a starter and leading the way to the Gray Cup Perth, losing 25-16 to Montreal at the Commonwealth Stadium.

Ray helped Edmonton avenge their defeat by beating Montreal 34-22 in the ’03 CFL Championship. He was the starter in four Gray Cup victories in Ray’s CFL record.

On Thursday, August 11, 2011, Edmonton quarterback Ricky Ray threw a pass during the first half CFL football match against Montreal Alovets.

Canadian Press / Graham Hughes

Edmonton moved to Toronto in December 2011. He led Arcos to the Gray Cups in 2012 and ’17, but injuries sustained later in his career, including neck injury in 2018, forced him to retire before the ’19 campaign.

The story continues below the ad

“My vision may still be a good thing for me and Edmonton,” Ray said of the business. “I feel like it was a new beginning for my career… When you talk about CFL, history and championship matches, both Edmonton and Toronto are at the top of that list and have won one championship with each company. Frankly, I’m very proud.

“That’s what (injuries) got me out of the game, I could not play a whole season anymore. It’s an easy decision for me. When I was last injured, I knew I was done.

On Sunday, November 11, 2012, in Toronto, Ontario, Arcos’ quarterback Ricky Ray warmed up ahead of the first half Canadian Football League (CFL) Eastern semifinal match between Edmonton and the Toronto Argonauts.

Canadian Press / Dave Sidley

After retiring, Ray opened the door to becoming a coach. It could still happen, but he said it could be after his two young daughters grow up because of the needs of the industry.

The story continues below the ad

“I miss the game, I miss the match, I miss being in the locker room,” he said. “It’s fun to see it from a coach’s perspective, I think I can help players and learn what they do. It’s all going to depend on how I feel and where I am in the next few years.

Read more: Ricky Ray recalls time on the NFL, Rocky Road until the 2004 season

Click to play video: 'Argos Quarterback Ricky Ray Praises' Best Team He Received'

Arcos quarterback Ricky Ray was hailed as ‘the best team he has ever had’

Arcos Quarterback Ricky Ray Praises ‘The Best Team He Received’ – November 28, 2017

Cox, 38, of Columbus, Ohio, has appeared in 228 professional regular season games with Montreal (2006-2018). The five-foot-nine, 185-pound Cox started on a defensive back before heading to the linebacker, finishing with 979 carrier tackles (fourth all-time), 23 interceptions and eight defensive touchdowns.

He is also CFL’s best defender in 2013 and holds the league record for four league all-stars, Cox Fumble-Return Yards (392).

The story continues below the ad

“It says a lot,” Cox said entering a first-round poll. “I was a guy who didn’t start until my senior year of high school, I had never been to all the conferences in college (Ohio), but I kept going, and I drove.

“Even in Montreal, not being named the best player of the year did not stop me. I’m always going to take my place, I’ve worked as if trying to take someone’s place.

During a second-half CFL operation in Toronto on Saturday, October 18, 2014, Toronto Argonauts white receiver John Chillies (85) was tackled by Montreal Allied linebacker Chip Cox (11) and defensive back Gerald Brown (below).

Canadian Press / Frank Gunn

Cox has had the rare distinction of playing with a company his entire pro life. Cox oversees the advice of Chris Jones, the former Alouettes defensive coordinator, and now Edmonton’s head coach / GM.

“At the end of my new year, Chris Jones said, ‘Listen, you’re going to get a lot of opportunities, but do not miss this opportunity you’ve had here,'” said Cox, who now serves as a Columbus police officer. I’ve been in the CFL for a long time because going to the NFL has never been worth it to me.

The story continues below the ad

“Obviously I can gamble and have a chance myself, but when you have something good, why leave it? I got married while I was in Montreal, I had my children while I was in Montreal.

Tyndale, 51, won the Heck Creighton Trophy (1991, ’93) as the best player in Canadian university football while in western Ontario. Burley Fulbach in 1992 would have had a third if he had not suffered a leg injury.

Five-foot-10, 220-pound London, Ont. Tyndale played 37 games with Buffalo (1994-97) and scored a 44-yard DT run against Miami on December 30, 1995 in the Pills’ 37-22 playoff game.

Tyndale spent his final NFL season with Chicago before injuries caused him to retire.

“I don’t think I deserve the Canadian Football Hall of Fame, so it caught me,” Tyndale said. “But I knew this year that Marv Levy (former Bills head coach) was going, and it was very special.

“It’s amazing to be included with people like him.”

Levy, 96, won two Gray Trophies as Montreal head coach (1973-77) and was engraved on Friday as the builder of the 2021 class. The ’20s and ’21s were honored together after a global epidemic forced the Canadian Football Hall of Fame to postpone each event.

The story continues below the ad

“Tim won the odds,” Levy said of Tyndale. “He was unusually tough.

“He (former linebacker) and Chris Spielman are two of the toughest on our football team. They’s the guys who surprised you.

Tyndale added: “On my first day at my first mini-camp at Rich Stadium, I was getting ready on the field, and Marv came to me. He knew my name, hometown, the school I went to. Great thing.

McCullum, 52, has played 24 CFL seasons with BC, Ottawa and Saskatchewan. The Vancouver native did all three kicking work (field goals, bounds, kickoffs) and is the CFL’s second leading scorer with 3,145 points.

A two-time Gray Cup champion, McCullum scored 722 career field goals (80.2 percent), including a 62-yard boot with Saskatchewan in 2001, the longest in CFL history. He also holds the league title for converts (801).

Read more: Former Lions, Refractory kicker Paul McCullum inducted into the Hall of Fame

Thornton, who died in 2014 at the age of 75, played receiver, quarterback, running back, winger and defensive back for 12 CFL seasons with Winnipeg and Toronto. He hit 18 touchdowns in four different ways (hurry, get, intercept and stumble) and had five TD passes.

The story continues below the ad

Winnipeg helped Thornton win the ’62 Gray Cup. He had 43 career interceptions and returned eight to DDs.

Richie, 83, spent 11 of his 22 CFL seasons as head coach at New Bedford, Mass., BC (1993-95), Montreal (1997-98) and Winnipeg (1999-04). He won 187 lifestyle-season games out of 108 and finished seventh all the time.

Richie won the Gray Trophy as BC’s head coach (1994) and both as assistants to Winnipeg (1990) and Lions (2006).

Shivers, 80, Haley, Arch., Spent 32 years in the CFL, often in leading office positions. He spent eight seasons as GM with Birmingham (1995) and Saskatchewan (2000-06).

The first Black GM in pro football history to win the Shivers Gray Trophy with BC (1985, 2011) and Calgary (1992, 1998).

Evans will also be absorbed after death. He founded the Calgary Golds of the Canadian Junior Football League in 1965 and was its GM from 1969 to 2019.

© 2022 Canadian Press


- Advertisment -

Most Popular

- Advertisment -