CFL Pass


Former Calgary Stampeders running back Jon Cornish has been announced as a member of the 2019 class for induction into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame.

Cornish was drafted 13th overall by the Stamps in the 2006 CFL draft and spent his entire nine-year career with the Red and White. After signing with Calgary prior to the 2007 season, Cornish went on to register 1,026 carries for 6,844 rushing yards along with 44 touchdowns in 140 regular-season appearances. Cornish topped 1,000 yards in three straight seasons from 2012-14, earning the league’s rushing title, CFL all-star recognition and Most Outstanding Canadian honours each time.

His most dominant campaign came in 2013 when Cornish’s 1,813 rushing yards – the most ever recorded by a Canadian in a single season – helped earn him the CFL’s Most Outstanding Player award and the Lou Marsh Trophy as Canada’s athlete of the year.

Cornish added another 1,666 yards on 167 receptions out of the backfield to go with nine more touchdowns. He ranks ninth among all players in the Stampeders record books with 53 total scores and fourth all-time in rushing yards.

Cornish amassed impressive career numbers despite serving as a backup to starting tailback Joffrey Reynolds for the first four-and-a-half seasons of his career. During this period, Cornish saw extensive duty on special teams as he accumulated 79 special-teams tackles as well as 532 kickoff-return yards.

“Jon was an exceptional player for the Stampeders and I congratulate him on his well-deserved nomination for the Canadian Football Hall of Fame,” said Stampeders president and general manager John Hufnagel, who was head coach for eight of Cornish’s nine seasons in Calgary. “He earned his dues early in his career with hard work and commitment on special teams and he went on to establish himself as one of the best running backs in the history of the CFL.”

In nine playoff games, Cornish averaged 6.6 yards per carry, placing him second among all eligible running backs in Stamps history. He was a Grey Cup champion in 2008 and 2014.

“When I think of Hall-of-Famers, I think of someone who was the best at his best position for multiple years and Jon definitely fits that mold,” said Stampeders head coach Dave Dickenson, who was Cornish’s teammate in 2008 before becoming Calgary’s running backs coach in 2009. “Jon had no weaknesses in his game. He understood blocking schemes better than any back I’ve been around and took great pride in protecting QBs. He was also an above-average receiver.

“Jon understands the history of Canadian football and he should be rightfully proud of his place in it.”

A native of New Westminster, B.C., Cornish was the inaugural Provincial Football Player of the Year as a senior at Saint Thomas More Collegiate in Burnaby, B.C. He then went on to the University of Kansas where he recorded 387 carries for 2,245 yards and 17 touchdowns. He was the top rusher in the Big 12 Conference as a senior in 2006 when he set a single-season school record with 1,457 yards.

In 2018, the Jon Cornish Trophy was created in his name to annually recognize the top Canadian-born player in NCAA football. Cornish remains involved with the Stampeders through his role as game-day ambassador, a position he has held since the 2016 season. The soon-to-be Hall-of-Famer has also begun a successful career away from the game as he recently earned his Chartered Financial Analyst designation and serves as a private wealth advisor.