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Gene Gaines
No. 22
Born:(1938-06-26)June 26, 1938
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Died:July 6, 2023(2023-07-06) (aged 85)
Career information
CFL statusNational
Height5 ft 11 in (180 cm)
Weight185 lb (84 kg)
AFL draft1961 / Round: 21 / Pick: 167
Drafted bySan Diego Chargers
Career history
As coach
1982Edmonton Eskimos (DB Coach)
19861990Winnipeg Blue Bombers (Secondary Coach)
As player
1961Montreal Alouettes
19621969Ottawa Rough Riders
19701976Montreal Alouettes
Career highlights and awards
CFL All-Star1965, 1966, 1967
CFL East All-Star1963, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1971
Awards1966 Jeff Russel Memorial Trophy
HonorsGrey Cup champion - 1968, 1969, 1970, 1974 (player), 1970, 1974, 1977, 1982, 1990 (coaching staff)
Career stats

Gene Gaines (June 26, 1938 – July 6, 2023) was an American professional football player who was a defensive back for 16 years in the Canadian Football League (CFL). He played for the Ottawa Rough Riders and Montreal Alouettes. He is a member of the Canadian Football Hall of Fame.[1]

Gaines was born in Los Angeles and grew up in the Watts neighborhood.[2][3] He played college football for the UCLA Bruins. Gaines had 42 career interceptions in the CFL. With Ottawa in 1964, he set a CFL record with a 128-yard kickoff return in the Eastern Conference playoffs against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.[2] In 1970, he was both a player and one of the defensive backfield coaches for the Alouettes.[4][5] Gaines played in the CFL as a non-import player based on a 1965 ruling allowing teams to designate certain long-term players as Canadian for football purposes.[6][7][8][9]

Following his retirement as a player, he remained involved in coaching in the CFL, with Montreal (1977-81), Edmonton Eskimoes (1982), Winnipeg Blue Bombers (1986-87, 1989-90), and Hamilton (1988). He also coached in the United States with the Los Angeles Express (USFL) in 1983, and in 1984-85 with the NFL Houston Oilers; on the American teams, he accompanied his Edmonton Coach Hugh Campbell, and at the end of the 1985 season was not renewed to the staff, and Campbell had been fired after 14 games.

Gaines died on July 6, 2023, at the age of 85.[10]


  1. ^ Canadian Football Hall of Fame
  2. ^ a b Cole, Cam (July 16, 1982). "Gaines: building on excellence". Edmonton Journal. p. E4. Retrieved July 8, 2023 – via
  3. ^ Burke, Tim (July 15, 1972). "A pride in tolerance since Robinson, Trawick; but is the image really cut on the race bias?". The Gazette. p. 23. Retrieved July 8, 2023 – via
  4. ^ Gaines Likes Dual Role, Admits 'it's Been Tough'
  5. ^ Now a coach, Gene Gaines says 'my big chance'
  6. ^ Hickey, Pat. "Gaines (the player) can't quit yet. Gaines (the coach) has no substitute". The Montreal Star. p. 43. Retrieved July 8, 2023 – via
  7. ^ MacDonald, Ian (October 26, 1966). "Ottawa's Gaines Still Unsigned". The Montreal Star. p. 30. Retrieved July 8, 2023 – via
  8. ^ "Player selections down to wire". The Ottawa Citizen. July 30, 1965. p. 15. Retrieved July 8, 2023 – via
  9. ^ "Lalonde bill timing tight". The Gazette. April 25, 1974. p. 40. Retrieved July 8, 2023 – via For instance, if the law passes, does Gene Gaines have to take out Canadian citizenship to retain his non-import status? CFL commissioner Jake Gaudaur says 'no' because "acquired rights will have to be protected and Gains acquired his Canadian status years ago.
  10. ^ "Ottawa Mourns the Loss of Legend Gene Gaines". CFL News Hub. 7 July 2023. Retrieved 8 July 2023.