After 1932, tough times began for Western football with the team winning only one game per season and debate resurfaced about whether to cancel the senior football program.

In 1935, following the retirement of Joe Breen, Bill Storen and John Metras were hired as head coach and assistant coach (from Detroit). The early years of their tenure were dry with few wins.

In 1938, they produced the first winning team since 1931 although the championship eluded them. In 1939, Western had its first undefeated season since entering senior football after a spectacular comeback against Queen’s University. 

1939 also marked the first year the McCullagh Trophy was presented to the MVP, in the name of Toronto Globe publisher. The first recipient was Al Hurley, the captain of the team. “Ironman” Hurley had played a full sixty minutes on the field in every league game that year. 

Alf Hurley

Al Hurley, the first recipient of the McCullagh Trophy in 1939.