Former OAC/OVC Redmen head football coach [1956-1960] Tom Mooney passed away on June 20 in Guelph.
Mooney had a major impact on the athletic programs after arriving in 1956, taking the football team from 1-7 to 5-2, 6-1 and then 7-0. His Redmen won two league championships. Mooney also coached the basketball team and was the wrestling coach for one year. Mooney was inducted into the Gryphon Sports Hall of Fame in 2002.
I had a chance to meet Coach Mooney back in 2010. I spoke with him at a Quarterback Club luncheon and then the following spring at the first Gryphon Football Gala Dinner. He was also out to numerous Gryphon games in 2010 and 2011. I recall him even attending a road game in the company of some of his former players. His health seemed to deteriorate quickly in the past two years and kept him from attending Guelph games and events.
Tom Hawthorn has an informative tribute to Tom Mooney on his Benched blog, where he offers a final farewell to Canada’s athletes and sports characters. There are definitely some interesting details of Mooney’s career I didn’t know. Just a couple of examples – Mooney was the 201st draft pick of the New York Giants in 1956. The previous pick belonged to the Green Bay Packers who chose a QB by the name of Bart Starr. And, Mooney tried out for the Montreal Alouettes three times after his coaching career at Guelph. He only played in a single CFL regular season game in 1963.