Bernie Custis, a Pioneering Quarterback, Dies at 88

Photograph
Bernie Custis in 1982 as a trainer of the 12 months in Canada.

Credit score
Julien Lebourdais/The Canadian Press, by the use of Related Press

Bernie Custis, extensively regarded as to be the primary black quarterback in trendy skilled soccer, died on Thursday. He was once 88.

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats, the workforce with which he made his professional debut in what changed into the Canadian Soccer League, introduced his loss of life however didn’t say the place he had died or specify the purpose.

Custis changed into a starter with the Tiger-Cats on Aug. 29, 1951. He were a celebrity quarterback with Syracuse College and was once decided on by way of the Cleveland Browns within the 1951 Nationwide Soccer League draft.

Advised he would play protection with the Browns, he resisted the transfer and opted to signal with Hamilton. He began each and every recreation at quarterback in his first season. Fritz Pollard, a halfback who was once black, took some N.F.L. snaps at quarterback within the 1920s.

Custis moved to operating again the following season and in 1953 helped Hamilton win the Gray Cup championship recreation, 12-6 over Winnipeg. Custis completed his professional profession as a operating again with the Ottawa Tough Riders within the 1955-56 season.

Custis later coached at more than a few ranges. He compiled a 74-20 file over 8 seasons with the Burlington Braves of the Canadian Junior Soccer League, successful 3 Ontario championships and two Japanese Canadian titles.

He was once inducted into the Canadian Soccer Corridor of Status in 1998 and in 2015 gained the league commissioner’s award. There was once no speedy data on his survivors.

“Bernie Custis modified the face of our recreation endlessly,” the C.F.L. commissioner, Jeffrey…

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