Matthews and Allen To Take Their Place On Lions Wall of Fame in July
Vancouver - The BC Lions Football Club is pleased to announce that legendary head coach Don Matthews and CFL Hall of Fame quarterback Damon Allen will be added to the BC Lions Wall of Fame during a halftime ceremony on Saturday, July 20th when the club hosts the Edmonton Eskimos.
"We are very pleased to welcome two of our most popular and accomplished alumni to the Wall of Fame," said Lions president and CEO Dennis Skulsky. "As BC's most successful professional sports organization we are grateful for the accomplishments of these men and we are very proud to recognize them with this honour."
Don Matthews - Head Coach - 1983-1987
Among CFL head coaches, two men stand out with the most victories and Grey Cup appearances: the first was Don Matthews whose victory totals were eventually surpassed by current Lions VP of football operations and GM Wally Buono. Matthews joined the Lions in January 1983 and along with GM Bob Ackles began the club's second great period of success after taking over from former head coach Vic Rapp. This success came almost two decades after the team's first two Grey Cup appearances in 1963 and 1964. Coach Matthews had an immediate impact leading the Lions to West Division titles in 1983 and 1985 and their second-ever CFL title win. After a narrow 18-17 loss to Toronto in the 1983 Grey Cup at BC Place, Matthews brought the club the 1985 championship with a 37-24 victory over Hamilton. His winning percentage of .706 is tops among Lions head coaches and included three first-place finishes. His 56 wins trail only Wally Buono's 101 and he led the club to four consecutive seasons of 11 or more victories and four West Division title game appearances. Don was named to the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 2011 and ranks number two all-time with 231 wins in 22 seasons across 365 regular season games.
Damon Allen - Quarterback - 1996-2002
After spending his first 11 years in the CFL in Edmonton and Memphis, Damon Allen joined the BC Lions in 1996. His arrival began the rebuilding process that has since led to 16 consecutive playoff appearances through 2012, the first six of which featured Damon as the starting quarterback. He started a club record 121 games including his last 109 in a row before leaving the club after seven productive years in 2002. He departed as the team's all-time leading passer with 27,621 yards, 136 touchdowns and 2,037 completions and had six consecutive seasons of at least 3,500 passing yards. Allen added another 4,147 rushing yards and remains the club's seventh all-time ground gainer. The Lions recorded 61 wins with Damon as starting QB with his crowning achievement the 2000 Grey Cup championship when he threw for 234 yards in the win over Montreal. Over his CFL career, Damon passed for 72,381 yards retiring as the all-time leader in 2007. Inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 2012, he still ranks #2 in passing yards as well as #3 all-time in rushing with 11,920 yards. He was named as a divisional all-star three times in his 23-year career including 1999 with the Lions when he led the club to a 13-5 record.
BC Lions Training Camp presented by Sun Peaks Resort gets underway in Kamloops, BC on Sunday, June 2. The Lions kick off the 2013 campaign with a preseason tilt versus Edmonton on Friday, June 21 at 7:00 pm and begin their regular season home schedule on Thursday, July 4 at 7:00 pm versus the reigning Grey Cup champion Toronto Argonauts.
The BC Lions celebrate 60 Seasons of Pride in 2013. For season ticket information call 604.589.ROAR. For more information on the BC Lions Football Club visit bclions.com.
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