By Earl Zukerman
The 1962 McGill Redmen football team, which is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its magical Yates Cup league championship this week, headlines a cast of five new honourees inducted to the McGill Sports Hall of Fame Thursday, bringing the list of honoured members to 112 since the pantheon opened in 1996.
The induction luncheon kicked off the University’s Homecoming Week celebrations.
Honourees in the athlete category include football defensive lineman Mark Joncas (BEng ’82) of Val d’Or, Que., soccer goalkeeper Aldo Braccio (BA ’85, MA ’87) of Montreal and swimmer Carol Chiang (BSc ’99) of The Pas, Man.
Selected posthumously was Air Vice-Marshal Frank McGill (BCom ’15), a native Montrealer who starred in football, hockey, water polo and swimming. He was inducted into the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame in 1959 and the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 1965.
Joncas, a co-captain and two-time all-Canadian, was the conference nominee in 1981 for the J.P. Metras Trophy as most outstanding lineman in the nation and was drafted by the Saskatchewan Roughriders in 1982. He was credited with 21 quarterback sacks in 21 starts over his last three years.
Braccio, a four-time all-Canadian ‘keeper, guided the Redmen to a national title as a freshman in 1982 and posted a 47-1-6 regular season career record with nine shutouts in 54 starts over his five campaigns.
Chiang, a four-time all-Canadian sprinter, won 18 gold medals over five Quebec conference championship meets and collected 10 CIS medals (2 gold, 5 silver, 3 bronze) in her five national championship appearances.
The 1962 Redmen captured the Senior Intercollegiate Football League championship before a CBC-TV audience with a 15-13 come-from-behind, last-minute playoff victory over Queen’s in Kingston on Nov. 17, 1962.
The team was guided by head coach Bill Bewley and assistants Tom Moran (backfield), Ron Murphy (line) and Dave Copp. They featured a team record 11 honorees on The Canadian Press all-star team, including Tom Skypeck, the team captain who received the Omega trophy as league MVP. The alternate captains were Don Taylor (tight end) and Willie Lambert, the latter whom merited all-star status at both running back and defensive back.
McGill trailed by five points with two minutes remaining and had the ball on their own 7-yard line. Skypeck then completed five straight passes for 103 yards, hitting Lambert for the game-winning 25-yard TD toss with 59 seconds left on the clock as McGill rallied to defeat their arch-rivals.
To read a longer version of this article, which includes information on submissions for future inductions and a list of previous inductees, go here.