The University of Ottawa announced that Francis Perron, one of the school’s football players, died after the team's season opener on Saturday against the University of Toronto.
It is with extremely heavy hearts that we share the news that we have lost one of our own. Gee-Gees football player Francis Perron passed away yesterday.
Our hearts and deepest condolences go out to everyone whose life he has touched. https://t.co/OtAgUEdFGJ pic.twitter.com/R2Ra4CMY7A
— uOttawa Gee-Gees (@uOttawaGeeGees) September 19, 2021
The statement from university president Jacques Frémont did not mention a cause of death.
The 25-year-old defensive lineman from Sherbrooke, Quebec started playing for the Gee-Gees in 2017 and was named an academic all-Canadian in both 2018 and 2019 as he studied mechanical engineering at the school.
"A bright, passionate, and caring person, Francis poured himself into his craft as a player and his academic pursuit of becoming an engineer. In the classroom, he was as big of a star as on the field," Frémont said.
Frémont also announced that the university will be holding a memorial ceremony in the coming weeks, with full details not available at this time.
An outpouring of condolences flooded social media after the announcement of Perron’s death, with various school staff and athletic personnel sharing their thoughts.
Our hearts are broken, losing Francis, we’ve lost an outstanding person, teammate, player and veteran leader that made us better in every way possible. He was someone that loved and was loved, by everyone that is a part of our program. He will be missed! https://t.co/ttaRFaSmrX
— Marcel Bellefeuille (@mb_coach) September 20, 2021
It has been a shocking last 36 hours for our @uottawa @ottawageegees family with the loss of @GeeGeesFootball #99 Francis Perron. There are no words to explain this. Our hearts are broken for his family, friends, teammates and coaches. ❤️❤️🐎🐎 https://t.co/KWHgPkHOL3
— Sue Hylland (@Sue_Hylland) September 20, 2021
The GeeGees and University of Ottawa family is grieving after the devastating loss of Francis Perron.
My heartfelt condolences to Francis’ family, to the athletes, coaches, personnel, and to all students.
RIP Francis. 🕊 https://t.co/whzD48M1tP
— Jeannine Ritchot (@JeannineRitchot) September 20, 2021
The University of Ottawa’s next game is scheduled for Saturday at Queen’s University. It has yet to be announced whether or not that contest will go ahead as planned.