May 9, 2023

Lions Mourn Loss Of Franchise Icon QB Joe Kapp At Age 85

The BC Lions organization is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Grey Cup champion and franchise icon Joe Kapp at the age of 85.

 “Joe Kapp will go down as one of the all-time great players for not only our franchise but the entire Canadian Football League,” said Lions co-general manager/director of football operations Neil McEvoy.”

“Along with helping put the Lions on the map after some lean early years, Joe also served as a trailblazer for quarterbacks making a name for themselves on both sides of the border. Our thoughts are with Joe’s wife Jennifer and the entire family at this time.”

Following a successful college career with the California Golden Bears, Kapp began his CFL career with the Calgary Stampeders in 1959 before moving to the West Coast in a five-player trade in 1961.

Kapp’s arrival paid long-term dividends as the quarterback led the franchise to its first-ever Grey Cup title in 1964 when the Leos took down Hamilton 34-24, avenging a loss to the Tiger-Cats in the previous year’s Grey Cup at Empire Stadium. Kapp also earned CFL and West Division All-Star selections in both 1963 and 1964.

A member of the Canadian Football Hall of Fame, BC Sports Hall of Fame and BC Football Hall of Fame, Kapp remains fourth all-time amongst Lion quarterbacks in passing yards (16,536), passing touchdowns (98) and completions (1,089).

Kapp would sign with the Minnesota Vikings in 1967, earning the starting quarterback job after just four games in his first season with the highlight of his tenure being an appearance in Super Bowl IV against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Following his playing days, Kapp also served as Lions general manager and would successfully lure Doug Flutie to the organization as starting quarterback. Kapp’s number 22 is now retired by the franchise.

The Lion legend remains the only player in the modern era to quarterback his team in the Rose Bowl game, Grey Cup and Super Bowl