Dressler, Goldsmith, five others named Canadian Football Hall of Fame inductees

Saskatchewan Roughriders slotback Weston Dressler (#7) hoists the Grey Cup at the end of the 101st Grey Cup game held at Mosaic Stadium in Regina, Sask. on Sunday Nov. 24, 2013. PHOTO BY TROY FLEECE /Regina Leader-Post

Taylor Shire

Regina Leader-Post

Weston Dressler came to the Canadian Football League in 2008 with very few expectations.

Fast forward 16 years — after a remarkable career in the CFL with the Saskatchewan Roughriders and Winnipeg Blue Bombers — Dressler certainly never expected to get a call from the Canadian Football Hall of Fame notifying him that he is among the Class of 2024 inductee list.

“I feel like it hasn’t really sunk in for me,” said Dressler. “I always tell people this wasn’t why I played football; I just loved playing the game.

“It was never something that I was always like ‘I want to be a hall-of-fame type player’ and those type of things. Just loved to play football so I think it’s still settling in for me a little bit and the reality of this honour.”

Dressler, alongside fellow former CFL receivers Chad Owens and S.J. Green, defensive lineman Vince Goldsmith and cornerback Marvin Coleman are this year’s inductees in the player category. Legendary coach Ray Jauch and Ed Laverty, a trailblazer in touch football inducted posthumously, are inducted into the builder category.

Longtime CFL statistician Steve Daneil and TSN’s Farhan Lalji are being inducted into the media wing as well. The formal induction ceremony will be held on Sept. 13 in Hamilton.

After signing as free agent with the Roughriders in 2008, Dressler made a name for himself in his first year as he was named the league’s top rookie. He went on to record 715 catches for 10,026 yards in his 161 career games with Saskatchewan and eventually Winnipeg, where he finished his career.

But when he first joined the Riders, the North Dakota product — who won a Grey Cup with Saskatchewan in 2013 — could have never imagined having the success he went on to have.

“I had no idea what I was getting myself into,” said Dressler, who was inducted into the Roughriders Plaza of Honour in 2022. “I saw it as an opportunity to keep playing football and that was what it was to me.

“As I went through my career in those first couple years in Saskatchewan, I really realized what the CFL was all about, what the Roughriders were all about and just fell in love with it all.”

Three other members from the Class of 2024 also have ties to Saskatchewan.

Owens — who was named the CFL’s Most Outstanding Player in 2012 with Toronto — suited up for the Riders in 2017. He’s a two-time Grey Cup champion who set the CFL record for career all-purpose yards.

Jauch, meanwhile, was an assistant coach in Saskatchewan from 1991 to 1993 before taking over as head coach from 1994 to 1995. His 127 career wins —with Saskatchewan, Edmonton and Winnipeg — rank sixth all-time among CFL head coaches. He is a two-time Grey Cup champion and a two-time CFL coach of the year.

After coming to Saskatchewan in 1981, Goldsmith put up 17 sacks in his first year to earn the CFL’s Most Outstanding Rookie award.

Like Dressler, Goldsmith came to Canada just looking for a chance to play after the NFL deemed the 5-foot-11, 230-pounder “too small” after a college career with the University of Oregon Ducks.

“At that time, I really didn’t have a whole lot of options, but I knew I wanted to continue to play football and if I wanted to play, the CFL seemed to be the path to take,” said Goldsmith, who was inducted into the University of Oregon Hall of Fame in 2002 and the Roughriders Plaza of Honour in 1994.

Goldsmith played 101 games with the team and ranks second all-time with 89 sacks. He was also on the 1989 Grey Cup winning squad as well during his second stint with the team.

“That was probably the crowning jewel of my career,” said Goldsmith.

And an induction into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame is the cherry on top.