History – Canadian University Football

By Robert Watkins

Conference Membership – The East

Atlantic University Sport (AUS)

The AUS football conference has had many different names over the years. The league itself evolved from earlier Canadian-rules football leagues the first of which was begun in Halifax during the Second World War.
These forerunners include the Halifax City Canadian Football League (1947-1950), the Nova Scotia Canadian Football League (1951-1959), the Nova Scotia Junior Canadian Football League (1953-1959), the New Brunswick Intermediate Football League (circa 1949-1959), the Maritime (Junior) Intercollegiate Football League (1958-59) and the two-tiered Atlantic Football Conference (1960-1964).
These leagues typically consisted of university, military and community teams playing at the intermediate and junior levels of football. In 1965, the Bluenose Football Conference came into being with league membership restricted to university varsity teams located in the Maritime provinces which were members of the Maritime Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA). In 1966 the league was officially called the MIAA football conference, in 1969 it became the Atlantic Intercollegiate Athletic Association (AIAA) football conference, in 1974, the Atlantic Univerisities Atheltic Association (AUAA) football conference and finally, in late 1999, Atlantic University Sport (AUS) football conference.
Throughout the years, however, the league has been popularly called by the media and others the Atlantic University Football Conference (AUFC). The Jewett Trophy is awarded to the conference champion each year.

Atlantic University Football Conference (AUFC)

Acadia University Axemen 1965-Present
University College of Cape Breton Capers 1990
Dalhousie University Tigers 1965-1976
Mount Allison University Mounties 1965-Present
University of New Brunswick Red Bombers 1965-1980
University of Prince Edward Island Panthers * 1965-1979
Saint Mary’s University Huskies 1965-Present
St. Francis Xavier University X-Men 1965-Present
* Before 1970, the University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI) was known as St. Dunstan’s University. St Dunstan’s amalgamated with Prince of Wales College of Charlottetown to form UPEI.

Conference Membership – Ontario

Ontario University Athletics (OUA)

Much of the history of university football in Quebec is irrevocably intertwined with that of Ontario. For ease of organizational structure and because the majority of institutions with football programs in the early years were located in Ontario, the early years of Quebec varsity football are also included in this section.
The oldest interuniversity football league was the Canadian Intercollegiate Rugby Football Union (CIRFU) formed in late 1897 and commencing competition in 1898. The Yates Cup was donated by Dr. H. B. Yates of McGill University in 1898 to be awarded to the league champion each year.
Canadian Intercollegiate Rugby Football Union (CIRFU) *
McGill University Redmen 1898-1970
McMaster University Marauders 1952-1953 **, 1968-1970
Ottawa College 1905-1912
Queen’s University Golden Gaels 1898-1970
Royal Military College 1913
University of Toronto Varsity Blues 1898-1970
University or Waterloo Warriors 1968-1970
University of Western Ontario Mustangs 1929-1970
* Following the Second World War, the CIRFU became known as the Senior Intercollegiate Football League (SIFL), from circa 1956 onward it was known as the Ontario-Quebec Athletic Association (OQAA) football conference.
** McMaster was granted probabitionary playing privileges (exhibition games) in the SIFL for the 1952 seasion with full participation in league competition and standings to apply in the 1953 season.
A second senior-level university football conference was established in 1957–the Ontario Intercollegiate Football Conference (OIFC)–consisting of a combination of newly created post-secondary institutions as well as established institutions which had previously played football at the intermediate level in the South-Western Conference of the Intercollegiate Intermediate Football Union (IIFU) and the West or “A” Division of the Ottawa-St.Lawrence Intercollegiate Athletic Association (OSLIAA) football conference.

Ontario Intercollegiate Football Conference (OIFC)
Carleton University Ravens * 1957-1966
Laurentian University Voyageurs 1966
Loyola College Warriors * 1963-1966
McMaster University Marauders 1957-1966
Université de Montréal Carabins 1966
Ontario Agricultural College Aggies 1957-1966
University of Ottawa Gee-Gees * 1957-1966
Royal Military College Redmen * 1957-1966
University of Waterloo Warriors 1957-1966
Waterloo Lutheran University Golden Hawks 1963-1966
* These four teams, in addition to being charter members of the OIFC, concurrently constituted the West Division of the OSLIAA football conference (see below for details).
Existing before and then concurrently with the OIFC was a group of football-playing post-secondary institutions in Ontario and Quebec which originally had made up the Ottawa-ST. Lawrence (OSL) football conference of the IIFU and, later, the OSLIAA football conference. The level of play might be described as a mixture of intermediate and senior although this distinction was fast disappearing. For the 1958 season, the OSLIAA was reorganized along eastern and western divisional lines with the West Division initially consisting of mainly Ontario-based colleges (see table above) and the East Division consisting largely of Quebec-based institutions (see Quebec section following). By 1960, the OSLIAA instituted a league championship game between the two divisional winners.
In 1967 a new university football conference was created–the twelve-team Central Canada Intercollegiate Football Conference (CCIFC). This league was made up of the ten members of the OIFC plus two teams from the East Division of the now defunct OSLIAA football conference. In 1968, with the addition of two more members (plus another in 1969), the conference was split into two divisions.

Central Canada Intercollegiate Football Conference (CCIFC)
Bishop’s University Gaiters ** 1967-1970
Carleton University Ravens *** 1967-1970
Sir George Williams University Georgians ** 1968-1970
Laurentian University Voyageurs *** 1967-1970
Loyola College Warriors ** 1967-1970
Macdonald College Aggies ** 1967-1970
McMaster University Marauders 1967
Université de Montréal Carabins ** 1967-1970
OAC Aggies * / University of Guelph Gryphons *** 1967-1970
University of Ottawa Gee-Gees *** 1967-1970
Royal Military College Redmen ** 1967-1970
University of Waterloo Warriors 1967
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