Calgary Stampeders running back Jon Cornish on Wednesday announced his intention to retire from the Canadian Football League after an accomplished and record-breaking career with the Red and White.
“I’m very comfortable with my decision,” said Cornish. “Over the years with this team, I feel we’ve been able to achieve everything that is possible to achieve both as a team and as an individual.”
The 31-year-old New Westminster, B.C., product played a total of nine seasons with the Stampeders and won two Grey Cup rings, was named the CFL’s Most Outstanding Player in 2013 and the league’s Most Outstanding Canadian on three occasions.
Despite making just 60 career starts, Cornish finishes his career as the fourth-leading rusher in Stampeders history with 6,844 yards. He started his Stamps career as a backup tailback and special-teams player but, after being named starter in Week 13 of the 2011 season, he rushed for 4,585 yards in 60 games including 22 contests in which he cracked the 100-yard mark.
The University of Kansas alum also had 167 catches for 1,666 yards and nine touchdowns. Cornish also saw extensive special-teams duty early in his career as he accumulated 532 kickoff-return yards and 79 special-teams tackles.
“Jon was an exceptional player for this franchise and I congratulate him on an excellent career,” said Stampeders general manager John Hufnagel, who was head coach for eight of Cornish’s nine seasons in Calgary. “He earned his dues early in his career with hard work and commitment on special teams while gradually earning more playing time on offence. After he became the starter, he developed into one of the best running backs in the history of this franchise and this league.”
In 2013, Cornish turned in one of the best seasons by a CFLer as his 1,813 rushing and 2,157 yards from scrimmage were both the fourth-best totals in league history. That season, he became the first Canadian player in 35 years to be named MOP and was also voted the winner of the Lou Marsh Trophy as the top athlete in Canada.
“My appreciation to the league, the Calgary Stampeders, to the media and to the fans can not be overstated,” said Cornish. “I’ve been humbled by the magnitude of what this sport means to people in this country.”