The CFL announced today that Argos Head Coach Ryan Dinwiddie and WR Kurleigh Gittens Jr. have been named as the final two nominees for Coach of the Year and Most Outstanding Canadian, respectively. Nominees were selected by voting members of the Football Reporters of Canada (FRC) and CFL head coaches.
The 2022 CFL Awards will be handed out Thursday, November 17, 2022, in Regina during Grey Cup week.
It’s the second year in a row that Ryan Dinwiddie and Kurleigh Gittens have received nominations for top CFL awards.
The 11-7 Argonauts, winners of the East Division for the second consecutive season, are on a playoff bye as they wait to host the East Final on Sunday, November 13th, at BMO Field.
The Boatmen will square off with the winner of this Sunday’s Eastern Semi-Final between the 9-9 Montreal Alouettes and the 8-10 Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
Argos Star WR Kurleigh Gittens Jr. Finalist For Most Oustanding Canadian
Kurleigh Gittens Jr. has followed up a breakout 2021 season with an outstanding campaign in 2022, hauling in 81 catches for 1,101 yards and five touchdowns, all career highs by a wide margin. Not only is the former third-round pick by the Boatmen one of the most outstanding Canadian players in the CFL. Gittens Jr. has become one of the best overall offensive players in the entire league. Regardless of nationality.
The third-year Argo is fifth in receptions league-wide, sixth in receiving yards, first in yards after the catch, and tied for seventh in touchdown receptions. Gittens Jr. also leads the Argos in every significant statistical receiving category. The Ottawa native led all Canadian receivers in yards and receptions and is the fourth Canadian pass-catcher to have 1,000 receiving yards in a season in the last decade. Gittens will go up against B.C.’s megastar QB Nathan Rourke from the West Division.
The odds are against Gittens winning the award, but the fact, that he is in consideration shows how good of a player he has become. The focus on the Boatmen’s brain trust has been directed toward their high-profile free-agent signings. But Kurleigh’s ascent to stardom carries more meaning because he is a homegrown player and one of several key contributors from the Argos’ recent draft classes.
Argos Head Coach Ryan Dinwiddie Finalist For Most Outstanding Coach Of The Year
Second-Year Head Coach Ryan Dinwiddie has been named a finalist for Coach of the year in two consecutive seasons at the helm. After taking over a 4-14 Argonauts team in 2019.
Dinwiddie has gone 20-12, winning two East division titles as head coach of the Argos. 9-5 in a shortened 2021 season and 11-7 this year with Toronto. The California native, and former CFL quarterback, started coaching in the CFL in 2013 as an offensive assistant in Montreal. Coincidentally the last time, Toronto had an 11-win campaign before this season.
Ryan Dinwiddie will once again go up against 2021 Coach of the Year in Winnipeg’s Mike O’Shea this year. Like Gittens Jr., the odds are against Dinwiddie winning the award against one of the league’s most accomplished veteran coaches. But I am sure that Ryan Dinwiddie would rather be competing for the Grey Cup with Mike O’Shea than for Coach of the Year honours.
Because the Boatmen have had another successful regular season led by Ryan Dinwiddie, they are in line for several individual accolades. In fact, Toronto has six different players up for the 2022 CFL awards.
In case you missed it, a complete list of the nominees is listed below. Regardless of the recognition doled out individually at season’s end. The most important potential reward for success won’t come unless the Double Blue can get to Saskatchewan to compete for their 18th Grey Cup on November 20th.
ARGONAUTS NOMINEES FOR 2022 CFL AWARDS
East and West Division winners will be announced this Thursday. Here are the Argo nominees selected by voting members of the Football Reporters of Canada (FRC) and CFL head coaches.
Most Outstanding Player: McLeod Bethel-Thompson
Bethel-Thompson, Toronto’s nominee last year, also had the best season of his career for the first-place Boatmen. The fifth-year pivot led the CFL with 4,731 passing yards, almost 600 more than the next closest QB, and was third in touchdown passes with 23 and first in completions with 387. M B-T also led the league in pass plays of 30 or more yards with 26 and was second in 300-yard games with five. The California native started 17 games thus and steered the Argos to back-to-back East Division crowns for the first time since 1996-997.
Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman: Dejon Allen
In his second season in Toronto, Allen has started 15 of 17 games at the right tackle position, missing one game due to injury and one for the birth of his child. The Hawaii alum has anchored the right side of Toronto’s offensive line allowing time for McLeod Bethel-Thompson to throw and opening lanes for the likes of running backs Andrew Harris and AJ Ouellette, who have combined for over 1,000 yards rushing.
Most Outstanding Canadian: Kurleigh Gittens Jr.
Most Outstanding Defensive Player: Wynton McManis (Unanimous)
In his first season with the Double Blue, McManis had the best season of his CFL career before an injury in Week 17 ended his regular season. In 14 games played, the Memphis, Tennessee native amassed 88 defensive tackles, seven special teams tackles, three sacks, one forced fumble, and two interceptions, including a game-sealing pick-six during the Touchdown Atlantic game vs. Saskatchewan. The four-year CFL veteran returned in glorious fashion to the league after a dalliance in the NFL.
Most Outstanding Special Teams Player: Daniel Adeboboye
Adeboboye, Toronto’s third pick in the 2022 CFL Draft (second round – 15th overall), has been a menace on special teams this season, totaling 17 tackles on punts and kickoffs, good for fifth-best in the CFL. The Toronto native has also carried the ball seven times for 32 yards and caught two passes for 13 yards.
Most Outstanding Rookie: Gregor MacKellar
MacKellar, Toronto’s first-round pick in the 2022 CFL Draft, has stepped right into his CFL career and immediately impacted a first-place team. The St. FX alum has played 15 games at left guard, including 11 starts helping fortify a line that has battled its fair share of injuries. MacKellar becomes the second Argos O-lineman to be up for this award after another top Toronto draft pick, centre Peter Nicastro was the East’s nominee last season.
2022 JAKE GAUDAUR VETERANS’ AWARD NOMINEE (recognizes a Canadian CFL player who demonstrates the attributes of Canada’s veterans: strength, perseverance, courage, comradeship, and contribution to Canadian communities.)
TORONTO ARGONAUTS – HENOC MUAMBA
Muamba is one of the league’s longest-tenured players on the Argonauts. He is a vocal leader and frequently takes younger players under his wing. He leads by example but also through encouragement, strength, and positivity while fostering a team-first mentality. He helped transition the team through new coaches and a new defensive coordinator this season, and he remained a consummate teammate and professional, despite the challenges of welcoming his third child this season. He played through pain and multiple injuries this season but has not missed a game. He started a Back-to-School Drive for students who are new to the city or province. He supports MLSE Huddle Up and MLSE Launch Pad while running two youth mentorship programs – Muamba’s Perfect ten and the Eagle Vision Program. He started a campaign for blood cancer awareness, raising funds for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Canada.
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