Father Charles Armstrong was a legendary figure at Assumption High School. Known as the “Spirit of Assumption,” he coached several sports and served as Athletic Director for parts of five decades.
Fr. Armstrong was born in Stratford, Ontario on October 10, 1906.
Fr. Armstrong split his high school years between Windsor and Stratford. He attended Assumption High School as a Grade 9 student, returned to Stratford for Grades 10 and 11, and eventually came back to Assumption to finish his high school education.
At Assumption High School, Fr. Armstrong played baseball, basketball, and football. He continued to play all three sports at Assumption College, from which he graduated in 1929. Afterwards, Fr. Armstrong entered the Basilian Fathers Novitiate. He was ordained a priest at Assumption Church on December 21, 1933.
Fr. Armstrong taught for a single year at St. Michael’s College High School in Toronto before joining the staff at Assumption High School, which was then a Basilian school, in 1935. He taught physics and chemistry. In 1938, he was named the school’s Athletic Director. He held that post until 1972.
Fr. Armstrong coached multiple sports at Assumption, winning several championships. In particular, his teams won the 1947 WSSA and WOSSA football titles and the ’52 WSSA Senior Boys basketball title. During an exhibition victory over Toronto St. Michael’s in Windsor, Fr. Armstrong became the first football coach in Canada to employ the “T” formation, which was popularized by George Halas and Sid Luckman.
In 1981, Fr. Armstrong was one of the Windsor/Essex County Sports Hall of Fame’s original seven inductee.
Fr. Armstrong passed away on May 29, 2001, a few months before his 95th birthday.