George Dixon (Canadian football)
1964 Topps CFL Card of Montreal Alouettes running back George Dixon
|Date of birth||October 19, 1933|
|Place of birth||New Haven, Connecticut|
|Date of death||August 6, 1990(aged 56)|
|Place of death||Montreal, Quebec|
|Height||6 ft 0 in (183 cm)|
|Weight||195 lb (88 kg)|
|NFL draft||1959 / Round: 9 / Pick: 97|
|Drafted by||Green Bay Packers|
|Career highlights and awards|
|CFL All-Star||1962, 1963|
|CFL East All-Star||1962, 1963|
|Awards||1962 CFL MOP|
Dixon starred as a running back for the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League, from 1959 to 1965. While Dixon played in only 76 games during his injury-shortened, seven-year career, all with the Alouettes, he is remembered as one of their finest players. Dixon's jersey #28 is one of seven retired by the Alouettes, and he was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 1974. In 2006, Dixon was voted to the Honour Roll of the CFL's Top 50 players of the league's modern era by Canadian sports network TSN. After his playing career ended, Dixon was the head coach of the Loyola College Warriors (now Concordia Stingers) Canadian college football team in the late 1960s-early 1970s.
College and NFL career
Following graduation, Dixon was drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the 9th round (97th pick) of the 1959 NFL Draft. His impressive 95 yard kickoff return for a touchdown on August 23, 1959, against the San Francisco 49ers in an exhibition game, was not enough to keep rookie head coach Vince Lombardi from cutting him. Dixon missed out on a chance to be part of one of the NFL's great dynasties, becoming a Canadian Football Hall of Fame member instead.
With Verdun Shamcats offensive lineman, and later Alouettes General Manager, Bob Geary blocking for him, Dixon amassed 5,615 yards on 896 carries, for an average of 6.3 yards a carry. He scored 59 touchdowns, 42 by rushing. His best day came on September 5, 1960, when he scored 4 touchdowns against the Ottawa Rough Riders. Dixon rushed for 100 yards in a game 24 times in his career.
Although the Alouettes did not have a winning season during Dixon's time with the club, the Alouettes made the playoffs 5 of the 7 years, losing in the Eastern Division semi-finals in 4 of those years. Dixon will also forever be in the Alouettes, and CFL, record book for his 109-yard longest run from scrimmage, against the Ottawa Rough Riders, on September 2, 1963. He also set the Larks one game rushing record that day, with 235 yards.
Dixon's best season was in 1962, when he rushed for 1,520 yards, was named an Eastern Conference and CFL All-Star and won the CFL's Most Outstanding Player Award. The following, 1963 CFL season was also a good one, with Dixon amassing 1,270 yards rushing and equalling his All-Star honours of the previous year.
Dixon's great accomplishments have not gone unremembered. His uniform number, 28, has been retired by the Alouettes, and he was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame on May 6, 1974. In November 2006, Dixon was voted to the Honour Roll of the CFL's top 50 players of the league's modern era by Canadian sports network TSN.
Later life and death
After his playing career ended, Dixon coached the Loyola College Warriors, of Montreal, to great and unexpected success. The following quote is taken from the Concordia University 2006 Sports Hall of Fame induction (Loyola merged with Sir George Williams University to create Concordia in 1974:)
|“||In 1968 when George Dixon took over as head coach of the Loyola Warriors football program, the Loyola of Montreal Athletic Program came out with an article examining the enormity of this challenge. It was titled “Football: Nowhere To Go But Up”. The author reported that “Dixon never took on a tougher job.” It went on to point out the new coach had inherited an 0-10 team with the worst record in Canada and the worst record in Loyola football history. Thirty-eight years later we pay tribute to the 1968 Loyola Warriors and their championship season. Dixon’s team posted a perfect 6-0 win-loss record to win the Eastern Division of the Central Canada Intercollegiate Football Conference. That year Loyola was the only undefeated team in the country. In six games they scored 201 points while allowing just 18. And only 10 of those points were scored on the impenetrable defence.||”|
Dixon died on August 6, 1990, in Montreal, at the age of 56, survived by his wife, Carol and his sons Kirk and Eric.
- on YouTube
- "TSN Top 50 Honour Roll". TSN.ca. 2006-11-28. Retrieved 2007-05-05.
- "Concordia Sports Hall of Fame 2006: 1968 Loyola Warriors Football Team". Concordia University. Retrieved May 7, 2007.