Future Alberta Premier Don Getty was involved in some of the Mustangs’ most dramatic games in the 1950s. Getty was born in Montreal in 1933 to a family hurt by the Great Depression. The Gettys lived in several cities in Ontario and Quebec throughout Don Getty’s childhood. He developed a passion for sport and was accepted into Western’s Business Administration program in 1952.
He joined the Mustangs football team during his first term at Western. At 6’11” and 190 lbs, Getty was the Mustangs’ largest quarterback in the early 1950s and one of the team’s most powerful players. During the last minute of play in a game to defend the Yates Cup in November 1953, Getty made a superb pass to Murray Henderson who carried the ball into Toronto’s end zone and won the game.
An even more dramatic game followed the next year. With a mere six seconds remaining, Getty kicked a football that ricocheted off a Queen’s player into the Queen’s end zone, where a Western player jumped on it and won the game.
In addition to football, Getty was a player on Western’s intercollegiate basketball team and a member of the Kappa Alpha Society. In 1955 Getty graduated with a BA Honours in Business Administration and won the Dr. Claude Brown Memorial Trophy for his contribution to male athletics at Western. He married later that year and joined the Edmonton Eskimos, who won the Grey Cup in 1955 and 1956. After retiring from football, Getty entered Alberta politics and ultimately served as the province’s Progressive Conservative premier between 1985 and 1992.