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Garney Henley
Date of birth: December 21, 1935 (1935-12-21) (aged 74)
Place of birth: Hayti, South Dakota
Career information
CFL status: Import
Position(s): WR/DB
College: Huron
NFL Draft: 1960 / Round: 15 / Pick: 173
Drafted by: Green Bay Packers
 As player:
1960–1975 Hamilton Tiger-Cats
Career highlights and awards
  • 4 time Grey Cup champion (1963, 1965, 1967, 1972)
  • played in 7 Grey Cup games (1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1967, 1972)
  • 10 time CFL All-Star
CFL All-Star: 1963–1972
Canadian Football Hall of Fame, 1979
College Football Hall of Fame, 2004

Garney Henley was a star football player in the Canadian Football League.

He attended Huron University in South Dakota, starring as a running back from 1959 to 1959 (as well as being a Dean's List honours student.) A First Team NAIA All-America in 1959, set NAIA career records with 394 points scored and over 4,000 rushing yards.

He was drafted in 1960 by the NFL's Green Bay Packers in the 15th round (173rd overall,) but he chose to head to Canada, and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. This was an excellent decision, as he embarked on a 16 year career (1960 to 1975) of CFL greatness. In his early Tiger-Cat career, he was used mostly as a defensive back with a unique tackling style which relied on his skill in taking down players with body angle and leverage rather than brute force. In his later years with the Tiger-Cats, he played more as a receiver when it became obvious to everyone, coaches, players and fans alike, that he was a superlative offensive player.

As a defensive back he intercepted 59 passes for 916 yards and 5 touchdowns, being selected as an All Star nine times. Being an excellent two way player, he was an All Star for the 10th time as a wide receiver in 1972. He also won the CFL's Most Outstanding Player Award that year in which the Tiger-Cats won the Grey Cup at their home field, Ivor Wynne Stadium in Hamilton, Ontario.

He played in 7 Grey Cups, winning 4 of those games. No one who saw him will ever forget his playing style.

After his playing days he became a coach and administrator at Mount Allison University in New Brunswick, Brock University and the University of Guelph in Ontario. He also served as the director of football operations for the Ottawa Rough Riders from 1995-1996. His teams had a combined 6-30 record. His most infamous moment, however came in the 1996 CFL dispersal draft when he selected Darrell Robertson from the Las Vegas Posse who had died several months earlier.[1]

It was often said that the always thin Henley did not look the part of a successful athlete. He was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 1979, the University of Guelph Athletics Hall of Fame on October 4, 1985, and the College Football Hall of Fame in 2004. Henley was voted the sixth greatest CFL player in a poll conducted by Canadian Sports network TSN in 2006.


Further reading

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Don Jonas
CFL Most Outstanding Player
Succeeded by
George McGowan


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