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Russ Jackson
Date of birth: July 28, 1936 (1936-07-28) (age 73)
Place of birth: Hamilton, Ontario
Career information
CFL status: Non-import
Position(s): QB
Jersey №: 12
University: McMaster
CFL Draft: 1958 / Round: 1 / Pick: 6
Drafted by: Ottawa Rough Riders
 As player:
1958–1969 Ottawa Rough Riders
Career highlights and awards
CFL All-Star: 1966, 1968, 1969
Canadian Football Hall of Fame

Russell Stanley "Russ" Jackson (born July 28, 1936 in Hamilton, Ontario)[1] is a former professional Canadian football quarterback. Jackson spent his entire 12-year professional football career with the Ottawa Rough Riders of the Canadian Football League. He is a member of the Order of Canada, the Canadian Football Hall of Fame, and Canada's Sports Hall of Fame, and has been described as the best Canadian-born quarterback to play in the CFL.[2] In 2006, Jackson was voted one of the CFL's Top 50 players (#8) of the league's modern era by Canadian sports network TSN,[3] the highest-ranked Canadian-born player on the list.


Early life and college career

After a stellar college career as both a basketball and football player, Jackson graduated from McMaster University in 1958 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics. He was the McMaster nominee for a Rhodes Scholarship, but did not pursue an interview for the scholarship, deciding instead to sign with the Ottawa Rough Riders of the Canadian Football League, who drafted him in the first round of the 1958 CFL draft.[2][4]

Professional football career

Originally signed as a defensive back, Jackson ended up quarterbacking the Rough Riders to three Grey Cup victories (48th, 56th, and 57th Grey Cups).

Jackson was honoured many times during his CFL career. He won the CFL's Most Outstanding Player Award in the 1963, 1966, and 1969 seasons. He was also a four-time winner of the CFL's Most Outstanding Canadian Award (1959, 1963, 1966, 1969 seasons). He was a six-time Eastern Conference All-Star quarterback (1962, 1963, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969) and the CFL All-Star quarterback in the 1966, 1968, and 1969 seasons.

Russ Jackson was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 1973.[5] Many consider him one of the best Canadian-born players to play in the CFL, while most consider him to be the best Canadian to play the quarterback position.[2] In November, 2006, Jackson was voted one of the CFL's top 50 players (#8) of the league's modern era by Canadian sports network TSN.[3]

Jackson ended his career with 24,592 passing yards, with 1,356 completions on 2,530 attempts (53.6%), 125 interceptions, 185 touchdowns, and an efficiency rating of 90.83. He was also a mobile quarterback, gaining 5,045 yards on the ground on 738 rushes, with 54 touchdowns. Among the few Canadian-born quarterbacks to play in the CFL, Jackson is the only one to pass for over 20,000 yards. In fact, he is the only one to exceed 10,000 career yards. Other Canadians, such as Don Getty, Frank Cosentino, and Gerry Dattilio, are well behind Jackson in statistics. At the time of his retirement following the 1969 Grey Cup, he was third all-time among all quarterbacks in the CFL, behind only Sam Etcheverry and one-time teammate Ron Lancaster.

Post-football playing career

After retiring from football, Jackson returned to teaching, having been a mathematics teacher from 1959-1961 and head of the Department of Mathematics at Rideau High School in Ottawa, Ontario from 1961-1966. He later became a vice-principal and principal at secondary schools in Ottawa and Mississauga. He also became principal at Brampton Centennial Secondary School and John Fraser secondary school.

Jackson has also done sports commentary for the CFL's Hamilton Tiger-Cats with radio station CHML-AM in Hamilton.

Jackson is an Officer of the Order of Canada[6] and was awarded an honorary doctoral degree in law by McMaster University in 1989.

In 1986, the Russ Jackson Award was created in his honour to recognize the CIS football player who best exhibits athletic ability, academic achievement, and devoted citizenship.[5]


  1. ^ "McMaster University Alumni". Retrieved 2007-01-26.  
  2. ^ a b c "Russ Jackson". CFL Legends. Canadian Football League. Retrieved 2008-12-21.  
  3. ^ a b "TSN Top 50 CFL Players". 2006-11-28. Retrieved 2007-05-05.  
  4. ^ "Ottawa Rough Riders College Draft History". Capital Region Football. Retrieved 2008-12-21.  
  5. ^ a b "Russ Jackson". Hall of Famers. Canadian Football Hall of Fame.,%20Russ. Retrieved 2008-12-21.  
  6. ^ "Russell S. Jackson, O.C., B.Sc.". Order of Canada. Governor General of Canada. Retrieved 2008-12-21.  
  • CFL Facts, Figures and Records 1987 and 2007.
  • Ronald A. Ferroni, The 2001 Unofficial Canadian Football Encyclopedia, Hamilton 2001.

External links

Preceded by
Nancy Greene
Lou Marsh Trophy winner
Succeeded by
Bobby Orr
Preceded by
Bill Symons
CFL's Most Outstanding Player
Succeeded by
Ron Lancaster
Preceded by
George Reed
CFL's Most Outstanding Player
Succeeded by
Peter Liske
Preceded by
George Dixon
CFL's Most Outstanding Player
Succeeded by
Lovell Coleman


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