The Queen’s University football program has a storied legacy, and this week it paid homage to several former Gaels by announcing their inductions into its Football Hall of Fame. The announcements were made throughout the week over the Queen’s Gaels social media channels.
In total, 10 different players and four championship teams were announced as inductees for a virtual ceremony to take place on Saturday, May 8, 2021.
The list of player inductees includes Jimmy Allin, Scott Bissessar, Matt O’Donnell, Rob Bagg, Thaine Carter, Curtis McLellan, Danny Brannagan, Mike Giffin, Brad Smith, Scott Valberg. While the 2009 Vanier Cup Championship Team, and 1922, 1923, 1924 Grey Cup Championship Teams round out to the team inductees.
“The 2009 Vanier Cup Championship has often been described as a ‘Victory for the Ages.’ Coming off a disappointing ’08 season where the undefeated Gaels took an early playoff exit, it was clear the ’09 team vowed to be different,” a Queen’s Gaels post on the inductees stated.
One of the player inductees, former Wide Receiver Rob Bagg, says his selection means a lot because of the names coming in with him.
“It’s good to be part of the history that goes with that program,” the Kingston native said. “I hope that my kids one day look back and say that it’s something that they’re proud of.”
Bagg played for the Tri-Colour during the 2005, 2006 and 2007 seasons before being drafted by the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the CFL where he eventually won a Grey Cup, which is quite the feat as the former Frontenac Falcon didn’t actually start playing football until Grade 11.
As for his time at Queen’s, Bagg credits the coaching staff for his progression, namely Gord McLellan.
“I remember him coming out during the summer going into the 2006 season and working the jugs machine for me just firing me a hundred punts every couple days,” Bagg said of McLellan. “And he was doing that while he was a teacher. He’s just out there volunteering.”
For former Running Back Mike Giffin — Queen’s all-time leading rusher — the news of his impending induction also came as a surprise.
“I was pretty excited, actually,” said Giffin, who is also from Kingston and played for the Bayridge Blazers in high school. “I was pretty humbled, and they asked me to say a little speech and I thought it was pretty cool to say I was a member of the Hall of Fame.”
“It’s kind of like being a member of all of the elite,” he added. “There were a lot of guys on the Hall of Fame Wall that I kind of looked up to, especially a couple of different running backs.”
For both men, who still reside in Kingston — and, incidentally, now work together in real estate — the induction is a moment in time, but one that will see their varsity football careers live on in Queen’s University history.
“It’s a cool class to be a part of, and it’s something you’ll always remember, too,” Giffin said.
For more information on all of this year’s Queen’s University Football Hall of Fame inductees, click here.