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Matt Dunigan

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Matt Dunigan

Matt Dunigan
No. 16
Dunigan at a Heart and Stroke Foundation event in Ottawa, ON
Date of birth (1960-12-06) December 6, 1960
Place of birth Lakewood, Ohio
Career information
CFL status International
Position(s) QB
Height 5 ft 11 in (180 cm)
Weight 199 lb (90 kg)
College Louisiana Tech
High school Lake Highlands
Hand Right
Career history
As coach
1999-2000 Calgary Stampeders (HC)
As player
19831987 Edmonton Eskimos
19881989 BC Lions
19901991 Toronto Argonauts
19921994 Winnipeg Blue Bombers
1995 Birmingham Barracudas
1996 Hamilton Tiger-Cats
Career highlights and awards
CFL All-Star 1985, 1988, 1995
CFL East All-Star 1994
CFL West All-Star 1985, 1988
Awards 1989 Tom Pate Memorial Award
1993 Jeff Russel Memorial Trophy
Career stats
Passing 3,057/5,476
Passing % 55.8%
Passing Yardage 43,859 (Avg: 8.0)
Passing TDs 306
Interceptions 211
  • Canadian Football Hall of Fame, 2006

Matt Dunigan (born December 6, 1960) is a former quarterback, coach, and executive in the Canadian Football League who is a CFL sportscaster for Canadian sports television channel TSN. In 2006, Dunigan joined the Canadian Football Hall of Fame, and was voted one of the CFL's Top 50 players (#39) of the league's modern era by Canadian sports network TSN.[1]

In 2008, he was named the host of Road Grill, a Canadian barbecue cooking series on Food Network Canada.

Early life and college football career

Although born in Ohio, Dunigan was raised in Dallas, Texas, attended Lake Highlands High School (Class of 1979), and grew up admiring Dallas Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach. A member of an athletically-inclined family, he attended Louisiana Tech, a school that served as the launching pad for Terry Bradshaw and other future professional quarterbacks such as Luke McCown, and Tim Rattay. Dunigan was inducted into the Louisiana Tech University Athletic Hall of Fame in 2011.

Professional football career

Dunigan broke into the CFL in 1983 with the Edmonton Eskimos. His rookie season, he backed up Warren Moon. Prior to the 1984 CFL Season, Moon left for the NFL’s Houston Oilers and the Eskimos became Dunigan’s team. He led the Eskimos to back-to-back Grey Cup appearances in 1986 and 87, winning in 1987. He had to watch most of the game from the bench due to injury. His backup during this time was another CFL legend in the making, Damon Allen.

After the 75th Grey Cup victory, Dunigan tried pursuing a Major League Baseball career. He worked with a scout from the California Angels, then showed up in Florida during spring training. He was hoping to catch on with the Montreal Expos. He was signed to a Class A contract, but then released on the last day. While Edmonton held on to his rights, they traded him to the British Columbia Lions in a remarkable seven for one trade. He led the Lions to victory in their last eight games, and to the Grey Cup. They lost to Winnipeg 22-21. His second year in Vancouver produced his first losing season, as the team fell to 7-11. He did throw for a career high 27 touchdowns. But new management came in, and Matt was the first one to go in another seven for one trade.

When he arrived in Toronto, they made the playoffs in 1990, but lost in the Division Final. But 1991 proved to be a memorable year for the CFL and Argonauts. Canadian actor/comedian John Candy, along with hockey great Wayne Gretzky, and Los Angeles Kings owner Bruce McNall purchased the Argos. Toronto then made noise by signing Notre Dame receiver Raghib “Rocket” Ismail. The Rocket, along with Dunigan and running back Michael "Pinball" Clemons led Toronto to 13-5 record. After a first round bye, the Argos finished Winnipeg in front of a packed out SkyDome, and advanced to the Grey Cup. But in that playoff game, Dunigan broke his collarbone. He was able to throw the length of a hotel ballroom after doctors deadened his shoulder. In minus 19 degree weather, he threw two touchdowns and won his second Grey Cup.

He left for Winnipeg the following season, where he spent the next three years. The Bombers went to the Grey Cup in 1992, only to lose to the Calgary Stampeders. They returned to the Grey Cup in 1993, and lost to the Edmonton Eskimos. Dunigan watched the 1993 Grey Cup on crutches, after tearing his Achilles tendon. But the season saw him break a club record throwing for 36 touchdowns. On July 13, 1994 he made pro football history when he passed for 713 yards in a 50-35 victory over his former team, the Eskimos.

In 1995, the CFL made an attempt to further expand into the United States. The Memphis Mad Dogs tried pursuing Dunigan, but eventually landed Damon Allen. Matt landed in Birmingham to play for the Barracudas. This led to his best season statistically, as he passed for 4,911 yards and 34 touchdowns. In the home finale, he broke his throwing hand and watched the rest of the season from the sidelines. The Barracudas would lose in the playoffs to the San Antonio Texans. The American experiment failed, and all the U.S. based teams folded. The lone exception was the Baltimore Stallions which relocated to Montreal.

1996 proved to be Dunigan’s last year in the CFL, this time with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. The TiCats finished third in their division, and lost in the first round of the playoffs. After the season, he retired due to chronic head injuries.

Dunigan finished his career with 43,857 passing yards and 306 passing touchdowns. In 2006, Dunigan was voted one of the CFL's Top 50 players (#39) of the league's modern era by Canadian sports network TSN.[1] Dunigan was also elected into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 2006.

Post-football career

After his retirement, Dunigan spent some time at Valdosta State University as their football team's offensive coordinator.

In 1999, Dunigan took a job as a studio analyst with Canadian sports television channel TSN.

In 2004, the Calgary Stampeders lured Dunigan away from TSN and hired him to be their general manager and head coach. After a disappointing 2004 campaign for Calgary, however, Dunigan was fired, and he returned to his job as a television analyst with TSN.

In 2006, on a dare from his family, Dunigan auditioned for the position as host of a barbecue TV series Road Grill, which premièred in 2008 with him as host. He has also become a cookbook author, using recipes based on the show.[2][3]

Dunnigan is outspoken about the dangerous effect of concussions. He has suffered from memory problems, speech difficulties, balance issues, and memory loss from the numerous concussions he suffered during his playing career.[4]

CFL coaching record

Team Year Regular Season Post Season
Won Lost Ties Win % Finish Won Lost Result
CGY 2004 4 14 0 .222 5th in West Division Missed Playoffs


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External links

  • CFL Legends – Matt Dunigan
  • Argos Heroes – Matt Dunigan
  • Canadian Football Hall of Fame – Matt Dunigan
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