Les Lear
Born:(1918-08-22)August 22, 1918
Grafton, North Dakota
Died:January 5, 1979(1979-01-05) (aged 60)
Los Angeles, California
Career information
Position(s)Offensive tackle
Career history
As coach
1948–1950Calgary Stampeders (HC)
As player
1938–1943Winnipeg Blue Bombers
1944–1946Cleveland/L.A. Rams
1947Detroit Lions
1948–1950Calgary Stampeders
Career highlights and awards
CFL All-Star - 1941, 1943
Career stats
OccupationTrainer and owner
Major racing wins
Major U.S. wins:
Suwannee River Stakes
Saratoga Special Stakes
Laurel Futurity Stakes (1964)
Garden State Stakes (1964)
Sorority Stakes (1965)
Kentucky Oaks (1966)

Major Canadian Wins:
Highlander Stakes (1960)
Marine Stakes (1961)
Manitoba Derby (1971)
Toronto Cup Stakes (1971)
Jockey Club Cup Handicap (1971)

Leslie Lear (August 22, 1918 – January 5, 1979) was a National Football League and Canadian Football League player and coach as well as an owner and trainer of Thoroughbred race horses.


He grew up in Manitoba, Canada, where he played guard at the University of Manitoba. Lear started his professional football career with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League and helped the team to two Grey Cup victories. In 1944, he signed with the Cleveland Rams of the NFL becoming the first Canadian-trained player to play in the NFL. He would play a total of 4 seasons in the NFL. After his stint in the NFL, Lear returned to Canada where he coached the Grey Cup champion Calgary Stampeders to an undefeated season in 1948- the only CFL team to go undefeated in a season.[1]

CFL coaching record

Team Year Regular season Postseason
Won Lost Ties Win % Finish Won Lost Result
CGY 1948 12 0 0 1.000 1st in Western Interprovincial Football Union 3 0 Won Grey Cup
CGY 1949 13 1 0 .929 1st in Western Interprovincial Football Union 2 1 Lost in Grey Cup
CGY 1950 4 10 0 .286 4th in Western Interprovincial Football Union
Total 29 11 0 .725 5 1 1 Grey Cup

Horse racing

Following his retirement from football, Les Lear became involved in Thoroughbred horse racing both as a horse trainer and an owner.

Later life and death

Lear was elected into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 1974. He died of kidney failure on January 5, 1979.[2]

Lear was posthumously inducted into the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame in 2019.[3]


  1. ^ "The Montreal Gazette - Google News Archive Search". news.google.com. Retrieved 9 April 2018.
  2. ^ "Les Lear". Associated Press. January 6, 1979. Retrieved 15 August 2011.
  3. ^ "Les Lear". Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame - Honoured members database. Sport Manitoba. Retrieved 10 November 2021.