Big Zee, the Argonauts’ record kicker for 10 years, dies at the age of 76

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Zenon Andrusyshyn, who made his way into Toronto Argonaut and Canadian Football League history with his boots, has died at the age of 76.

The death of the popular punter/placekicker, who was the third-highest scorer in Scullers history with 899 points, was published on the Argos’ Alumni Association social media account on Sunday night.

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Andrusyshyn was born in a post-war German refugee camp to Ukrainian parents, but his family moved to the GTA where he attended Oakville Trafalgar High School.

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A track and field star in javelin, shot put and discus, he once held the Canadian javelin record with a throw of 242 feet six inches.

While on his fellowship at UCLA, he suffered an elbow injury and decided to switch sports. He joined the Bruins football team after notching 14 consecutive field goals from 45 yards and later one from 62 yards.

A two-time All-American punter, he was selected to the UCLA All-Century team and selected by the Dallas Cowboys in 1970, but dropped out before the start of the NFL season.

He came home to join the Argos who reached the 1971 Gray Cup Finals, losing to Calgary. While the rest of the decade was not a golden era of titles, the team’s Exhibition Stadium regularly sold out, even for some preseason games, and dominated the headlines of the summer before the Blue Jays got a foothold.

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Andrusyshyn’s records during his prime included the CFL’s longest punt of 108 yards, a share of the longest kick-off, most Toronto field goals in a season (32 in 1974), and most points in a season (136 in 1980 during his tenure). second stint). with the Double Blue).

He left the club of his own volition in 1978 as a free agent for a season with the Kansas City Chiefs, returned to the CFL to join the Argos’ bitter rivals, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, and returned to TO in 1980.

He still thrived and was named a CFL East All-Star for two straight seasons, but when his production numbers dwindled in the fall of 1982, he was axed for Dean Dorsey just before the Argos returned to the title game with a loss to 2000 Edmonton.

“I always knew it would end like this one day,” Andrusyshyn told dem Toronto Sun at that time. “I did my best for the Argos and that was the best I could do.

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“Kicking is an extremely difficult job, probably the most stressful in football. Every time you step onto the field, you realize that your livelihood depends on the quality of your performance.

Zeno Andrusyshyn
Zenon Andrusyshyn, a player who played two regular-season games for the Edmonton Eskimos in 1982 and is shown here holding his team jersey from that season, wants a Gray Cup ring. delivered

“In order to last as long as possible and to reach the records that I have, I don’t really have to say anything. I have no bitterness at all. Bitterness is a dangerous thing.”

He ended his career with stints with the Edmonton Eskimos and the Montreal Alouettes, and spent three years with the USFL’s Tampa Bay Bandits.

Andrusyshyn, who met his wife Sue on the 1969 television series The Dating Game, had a small role in the hospital drama Medical Center. When he retired in 1990, he was a Southern Baptist minister in Nashville, graduated from Dallas Theological Seminary with a Masters in Arts and Bible Studies in 1995, and founded Zenon Ministries Inc. in 2007. It is a nonprofit youth ministry, the Andrusyshyn was on more than 15 humanitarian trips, including delivering medical supplies to the Cuna Indians in Panama and to children’s cancer hospitals in Ukraine.

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