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Frank Shaughnessy
Date of birth: April 8, 1884(1884-04-08)
Place of birth: Amboy, Illinois
Date of death: May 15, 1969 (aged 85)
Place of death: Montreal, Quebec
Career information
Position(s): Head Coach
College: Notre Dame
 As coach:
1912-1928 McGill University
Canadian Football Hall of Fame, 1963

Francis Joseph "Shag" Shaughnessy (April 8, 1884, Amboy, Illinois – May 15, 1969, Montreal) was a football and baseball player and coach.



Shaughnessy played football and baseball at the University of Notre Dame from 1901 to 1904, serving as football captain his senior year.


He introduced the option play to American football while coaching at Yale University and Cornell University. He also was football and baseball coach at Clemson University, and football coach at Washington and Lee University.

Shaughnessy was the first professional coach hired in Canadian university football and his full-time appointment at Montreal's McGill University in 1912 was not well received by the other teams in the league.

In each of his first two years, McGill won the Yates Cup football championship. He coached McGill to a 34-34-2 regular season record in 17 seasons. The 34 victories stood until 1979 as the most by a McGill football coach.

A football innovator, Shaughnessy introduced the forward pass to Canadian university football when McGill played Syracuse University in 1921 and lobbied for 10 years before the Canadian Rugby Football Union revised the rules and adopted the forward pass in 1931. He was the first football coach in Canada to introduce "X" and "Y" strategic formations and "secondary defence".

He also coached the McGill women’s hockey team and was appointed men’s hockey coach in 1919, guiding the Redmen to a 61-56-2 record until stepping down in 1927. The 61 victories established a McGill record and since then, has only been surpassed by four other McGill hockey coaches.

In 1969, the Shaughnessy Cup was first presented for local football supremacy between McGill and Loyola College. Since 1975, the Cup has been fought for in an annual challenge match between McGill and Concordia University.

Shaughnessy was inducted as a builder into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 1963, Canada’s Baseball Hall of Fame in 1983 and the McGill University Sports Hall of Fame in 1997.


Shaughnessy had brief Major League baseball appearances with the Washington Senators in 1905 and the Philadelphia Athletics in 1908.

Shaughnessy was a minor league manager for 19 years between 1909-1936, compiling a 1148-1012 record. He was General Manager of the Montreal Royals from 1932-1934, and a coach for the Detroit Tigers in 1928. He served as President of the International League from 1936-1960, and invented a playoff system known as the Shaughnessy playoffs.

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