HAMILTON - The CFL has lost one of its legends.
Canadian Football Hall of Famer Ron Lancaster has died. He was 69. A Hamilton Tiger-Cats spokesman says he died Wednesday night. The former star quarterback and coach was diagnosed with lung cancer earlier this summer and had been undergoing radiation and chemotherapy to treat the disease.
He had been working as a colour analyst on Hamilton Tiger-Cats radio broadcasts this season before receiving the diagnosis. He was also serving as the Ticats senior adviser to organizational development
Lancaster, a native of Fairchance, Pa., began his illustrious CFL career in 1960 with the Ottawa Rough Riders. He was dealt to Saskatchewan in 1963, spending 16 years there and leading the Roughriders to their first-ever Grey Cup title in 1966, which came against Ottawa.
He captured the Schenley Award as the CFL’s outstanding player in 1970 and ‘76.
Lancaster became Saskatchewan’s head coach immediately after the 1978 season but was let go after consecutive 2-14 seasons.
Lancaster then joined the CBC, where he worked as a colour analyst for the network’s CFL broadcasts. He also served as a basketball colour commentator at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul.
Lancaster returned to football in 1991 as the Edmonton Eskimos head coach. He spent seven seasons there, winning a Grey Cup in 1993.
Lancaster became the 17th head coach in Ticats’ history on Nov. 26, 1997.
He served as the club’s coach from 1998 to 2003, leading the Ticats to Grey Cup appearances in 1998 and ‘99, winning the latter.
He returned to the sidelines as Hamilton’s interim head coach in ‘06 after Greg Marshall was fired.
Lancaster’s 142 regular-season wins place him fifth on the CFL’s career list.
Popular and respected in CFL circles for his integrity and up-front demeanour, Lancaster was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 1982 and the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame in 1985.
He is survived by his wife Bev, three children Lana, Ron and Bob and his four grandchildren.