CFLAA Legends of the Game Profile – Frank Rigney
Frank Rigney anchored the Winnipeg Blue Bombers offensive line from 1958 to 1967. During his Hall of Fame career, Rigney appeared in five Grey Cup games, winning four League Championships (1958, ’59, ’61 and ‘62).
Known as a student of the game, Rigney was a locker room leader who regularly beat his defensive opponent with his incredible techniques and overall football smarts.
Rigney, a star athlete at the University of Iowa, was originally a fourth-round draft choice of the Philadelphia Eagles. The likable lineman followed the footsteps of Hawkeye teammate and one of the Bombers all-time great quarterbacks, Kenny Ploen.
A seven-time western all-star and three-time CFL all-star, Rigney was the league’s most outstanding lineman in 1961 and only missed five games his entire CFL career before a back injury forced him to retire.
After his football career ended, Rigney moved to the West Coast where he had a 35-year career in the insurance business and a 20-year stint in the media.
The native of East St. Louis, Illinois shared his personality and extensive football knowledge with CFL fans as a colour commentator during CBC and CTV’s football broadcasts. He also covered other sports for CTV including the Winter Olympics in Lake Placid in 1980 and Sarajevo in 1984.
For his outstanding contributions on and off the field, Rigney, who passed away on June 29, 2010, was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 1984 and the Winnipeg Football Club Hall of Fame in 1985.
Photo Courtesy of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers