EDMONTON – The University of Alberta Golden Bears football program will honour the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Vanier Cup Championship team on Saturday in a ceremony at halftime of the Golden Bears vs. UBC game at Foote Field.
Several players, coaches, and family representatives from the ’67 championship team will honoured, and will participate in the half-time celebration. Game MVP Val Schneider, starters Larry Dufresne and Ludwig Daubner, as well as assistant coach Jim Donlevy are among those expected to be in attendance.
“We are very excited to recognize and once again celebrate the 1967 Vanier Cup Championship team.” said Tawana McLeod, associate athletic director, development & alumni relations. “It is an honour to be able to host the alumni and their family; these anniversaries are reminders of our accomplished history of excellence in sport. It is important that we celebrate the championships, but more importantly, our Golden Bears & Pandas alumni. The University of Alberta sports legacy lives with them, they are and will continue to be our proudest accomplishment.”
The Golden Bears captured their first-ever Vanier Cup (then known as the Canadian College Bowl) in 1967, as they defeated the McMaster Marauders 10-9 at Varsity Stadium in Toronto. Schneider and Donlevy, as well as former Bear Dan McCaffery and head coach Clare Drake are all members of the ’67 team who have been inducted into the University of Alberta’s Sports Wall of Fame.
“I have a lot of fond memories [of the game]; it was an important part of our life in those days.” said Schneider. “What we learned from that team and that game really helped us go on in life. I ended up making my whole career in post-secondary education, having coached at the University level, and becoming Athletic Director and associate dean of the faculty. So it’s been an important part of my life, and I attribute a lot of that to the opportunity that I had here at the University of Alberta.”
The Golden Bears lost just once in 1967 – a 16-8 decision against Saskatchewan in Week 2 – before winning seven-consecutive games en route to their first ever national championship. Following the 8-1 season, the Bears would record another seven-straight winning seasons, and wouldn’t finish below .500 until 1982. The 1967 Vanier Cup was also a turning point for the Golden Bears, who would win another five Canada West, and two more national championships over the next 15 years.
“At the time we didn’t really realize it, but you really appreciate all these guys for helping you along the way.” said Dufresne, who played for the Bears from 1965-1970. “When I watched the film again, it really hits you in the heart. You miss these guys; they were athletes and great teammates. It was a special time.”