Two-time Vanier Cup-winning head coach, Hall of Fame Bombers’ DB Henry Janzen passes away at 82

Photo courtesy: Ted Grant/

Former Winnipeg Blue Bombers defensive back and kick returner Dr. Henry Janzen passed away on Wednesday at the age of 82.

A local product of the Weston Wildcats junior program, Janzen joined his hometown Bombers in 1959 and was named the West Division’s Most Outstanding Rookie for leading the league with 499 punt return yards. The team would go on to win the Grey Cup that season, the first of three Janzen would win with the club.

Janzen played seven seasons in Winnipeg, contributing in all three phases of the game. He retired following his best season in 1965, during which he recorded seven interceptions and was named a CFL all-star in the defensive backfield. He was inducted into the Blue Bombers’ Hall of Fame in 1989.

All told, Janzen recorded 15 interceptions and three defensive touchdowns in his CFL career, chipped in offensively with three more scores and 447 yards from scrimmage, and added 2,316 combined return yards.

Following his playing career, Janzen would take over as head coach for the Manitoba Bisons. He led the team to Vanier Cup victories in both 1969 and 1970, becoming the first team to win back-to-back Canadian university championships.

Janzen would go on to spend the majority of his professional life as the Dean of the Faculty of Kinesiology and Recreation Management at the University of Manitoba, helping turn the School of Physical Education into its own faculty.