Jack Gotta attended Oregon State and graduated in 1953 after a standout career as a receiver. Gotta then spent a couple of years in the United States Army, before returning to civilian life. Gotta signed with the Cleveland Browns of the NFL but came to Canada and the Stampeders after his release.
Gotta was an All-Star receiver and defensive back who played from 1956 to 1964, mainly with Calgary and Saskatchewan. Gotta broke into the CFL with Calgary in 1956, snagging 17 catches in his rookie season. In 1957, Gotta led the West in receptions with 39 for 652 yards while adding five interceptions as a defensive back. For that, Gotta was named to both the West offensive and defensive All-Star teams (there were no CFL All-Stars until 1962). Gotta had another strong season in 1958 with 37 catches for 605 yards and 3 interceptions to win West All-Star honours on defense. Injuries limited Gotta to only 6 catches in 1959, and he was traded to Saskatchewan for 1960.
Gotta played for the Riders from 1960 to partway through the 1964 season. His best season with the Riders came in 1961 when he set career highs for catches with 39 and yards with 779 to win West All-Star status on offense. Gotta's last season in 1964 was split between Saskatchewan and Montreal. In the last 6 games of his career with Montreal, Gotta had a very good 22 catches for 262 yards.
After his retirement as a player, Gotta immediately went into coaching. .Gotta returned to Saskatchewan and spent three years as an assistant (1965-67) with the Riders. That made Gotta part of the 1966 Grey Cup winning team, the first for the Rider franchise. Gotta then spent two seasons as an assist under Frank Clair in Ottawa, adding two more Grey Cup wins to his resume. Gotta then got his first head coaching job in 1*970 as he took over from Clair. Gotta spent four seasons at the helm of the Rough Riders (1970-73) and won his fourth Grey Cup and his first as a head coach in 1973. Gotta continued his winning ways in 1974, but not in the CFL Gotta was the GM and Head coach of the Birmingham Americans of the World Football League in 1974 as they won the only WFL championship. Gotta became Vice President of the Americans in 1975, but the league folded before the season ended.
Gotta returned to the CFL and his first team as a player, the Calgary Stampeders in 1977 as both the GM and Head Coach. Gotta helped turn the Stampeders around. In 1976, the year before he arrived, Calgary was 2-12-2, but were improved by 1978 to 9-4-3. In 1979, the Stampeders lost a close game to the powerful defending chamion Edmointon Eskimos in the West final Edmonton if you recall, won five staight cups in this period from 1978 to 1982. In 1980, Gotta relinquished the head coaching job to Ardell Weighandt while remaining the GM. I 1982, Gotta returned behind the bench wile retaining his GM role, though is official title for those two seasons was that of Direction of Football Operations.
Gotta spent 1984 away from coaching but not the CFL as he worked as commentator on CFL broadcasts in 1984 for CTV. Gotta made one more return to Saskatchewan where he had played and served as an assistant coach. This time, Gotta was the head coach for the Green and White for two seasons (1985086).
Gotta was three times named the top coach in the CFL. In 1972 and 1973 with Ottawa and 1978 with Calgary.
Jack Gotta passed away on June 29, 2013.
Games Played stats were not kept in the West until 1964.