Garney Henley
No. 26     
Personal information
Date of birth: (1935-12-21) December 21, 1935 (age 84)
Place of birth: Hayti, South Dakota
Career information
No regular season or postseason appearances
Career history
Roster status: Retired
Career highlights and awards
  • N/A
College Football Hall of Fame
Canadian Football Hall of Fame

Garney Henley (born December 21, 1935) was a star football player in the Canadian Football League.

College careerEdit

He attended Huron University in South Dakota, starring as a running back from 1959 to 1959 (as well as being a Dean's List honours student.) A First Team NAIA All-America in 1959, set NAIA career records with 394 points scored and over 4,000 rushing yards.

CFL careerEdit

Henley was drafted in 1960 by the NFL's Green Bay Packers in the 15th round (173rd overall), but chose to head to Canada, and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. This was an excellent decision, as he embarked on a 16 year career (1960 to 1975) of CFL greatness. In his early Tiger-Cat career, he was used mostly as a defensive back with a unique tackling style which relied on his skill in taking down players with body angle and leverage rather than brute force. In his later years with the Tiger-Cats, he played more as a receiver when it became obvious to everyone, coaches, players and fans alike, that he was a superlative offensive player.

As a defensive back he intercepted 59 passes for 916 yards and 5 touchdowns, and was selected as an All Star nine times. An excellent two-way player, as a wide receiver he was an All Star for the 10th time in 1972. He also won the CFL's Most Outstanding Player Award that year in which the Tiger-Cats won the Grey Cup at their home field, Ivor Wynne Stadium in Hamilton, Ontario. No one who saw him will ever forget his playing style.

He played in 7 Grey Cup games, winning 4: the 51st Grey Cup of 1963, the 53rd Grey Cup of 1965 (the so-called Wind Bowl), the 55th Grey Cup of 1967 when Saskatchewan was mashed 24-1, and the 60th Grey Cup of 1972, losing 3: the 49th Grey Cup of 1961, the 50th Grey Cup of 1962, and the 52nd Grey Cup of 1964.

Post-football careerEdit

After his playing days he became a coach and administrator at Mount Allison University in New Brunswick, Brock University and the University of Guelph in Ontario. He also served as the director of football operations for the Ottawa Rough Riders from 1995–1996. His teams had a combined 6–30 record.

It was often said that the always thin Henley did not look the part of a successful athlete. He was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 1979, the University of Guelph Athletics Hall of Fame on October 4, 1985, and the College Football Hall of Fame in 2004. Henley was voted the sixth greatest CFL player in a poll conducted by Canadian Sports network TSN in 2006. He currently resides in Huron South Dakota & works as a Driver & Regional Supervisor for Professional Transportation Inc.



Further readingEdit

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Don Jonas
CFL Most Outstanding Player
Succeeded by
George McGowan
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