Sad news has hit the Canadian football community, as Drew Edwards reported Wednesday that former CFL assistant Ron Lancaster Jr. was found dead in his Hamilton apartment Tuesday night. Lancaster, the son of legendary CFL quarterback, coach and executive Ron (who passed away in 2008), was a long-time CFL assistant with Toronto, Edmonton, Hamilton and Winnipeg. Teams he worked with went to five Grey Cup games, winning three. Edwards writes that Lancaster has been coaching junior and high school football in Hamilton since 2007, so his passing is a loss for that city as well.
The Lancasters are one of the first families of Canadian football, so this loss will resonate with many. Ron Sr.'s remarkable career spanned over five decades, as a player with Ottawa and Saskatchewan and then as a coach and executive with Saskatchewan, Edmonton and Hamilton. It can't have been the easiest thing in the world for Ron Jr. to work in the same league where his father was such a big name (including on some of the same teams), but he made a powerful impression in his own right, finding plenty of CFL success as an assistant coach and being considered for jobs like the head one at York University. Not everyone who's seen the bright lights of the CFL and the Grey Cup would devote their time to coaching at the junior and high school levels, either, so that says a lot about Ron Jr.'s character and willingness to give back. He'll be missed by the football community.