Longtime York football coach inducted to Canadian Football Hall of Fame

Longtime York University head football coach Frank Cosentino was one of seven men announced as part of the 2018 induction class for the Canadian Football Hall of Fame.

Cosentino served as head coach of the York football team, then known as the Yeomen, from 1978-80 and again from 1984-87, as part of a long career in the sport as a player, coach, teacher and author. He was inducted into the York Sport Hall of Fame this past fall.

Frank Cosentino pictured in a file photo

Cosentino will be inducted into the builder category. Joining him as part of the Canadian Football Hall of Fame Class of 2018 are former Canadian Football League (CFL) players Scott Flory, the late Tommy Hugo, Hank Ilesic, Brent Johnson and Barron Miles, as well as amateur player Paul Brûlé.

After winning high school championships with Hamilton’s Cathedral High School in the mid-1950s, Cosentino led the University of Western Ontario to two Yates Cup championships in 1957 and 1959, winning a national championship in the final game of 1959 before graduating with a business administration degree in 1960.

After being taken with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats’ first draft selection in 1960, Cosentino went on to enjoy a 10-year career in the CFL, helping Hamilton to five straight Grey Cup games from 1961-65, winning championships in 1963 and 1965. He later suited up for both the Edmonton Eskimos and Toronto Argonauts, posting a winning record each season.

While active as a CFL player, Cosentino continued his education and acquired a bachelor of physical education degree from McMaster University in 1967, a master’s degree from the University of Alberta in 1969 and a doctorate degree from U of Alberta in 1973.

As head coach at the University of Western Ontario from 1970-74, he led the Mustangs to the Vanier Cup championships in 1971 and 1974, winning nine of 10 playoff games during his tenure at Western. Moving on to York University in 1978, Cosentino inherited a team that had not won a game in two years and he led them to three consecutive seasons of .500 or better, winning the inaugural OUAA Coach of the Year award in 1978.

Cosentino led York to its first two post-season appearances in 1984 and 1985. He was also the former chair and director of the Department of Physical Education and Athletics at York, and served as a professor from 1976-97.

Cosentino authored 17 books on the history of sports in Canada, including three on the history of the Grey Cup and some of the teams that have competed. Among many honours received, he has been recognized with contribution awards from the Ontario Amateur Football Association, the Canadian Amateur Football Association and the CIAU. He is also a member of the Western University Sports Hall of Fame (1982) and a member of the OUA Hall of Fame.

The unveiling of this year’s class took place in the Pinnacle Club at Investors Group Field. Formal induction ceremonies will be held at a reception at Tim Hortons Field on the evening of Sept. 14. The inductees will also be honoured on Sept. 15 at the Hall of Fame game in Hamilton, Ont., which features the Tiger-Cats and the Calgary Stampeders.