next chapter of Ron Lancaster's storied Canadian Football League career
will see him as the Tiger-Cats Senior Advisor to Organizational
Development, where he will assist the club in many aspects of the
organization including, community relations, broadcast, the Ticats
interactive community and corporate partnerships.
A Canadian Football Hall of Fame Inductee, Lancaster has over 40 years of CFL experience as a player, coach, administrator and broadcaster. In a TSN/CFL poll last season, Lancaster was voted the seventh-best player in league history.
On July 10th, 2006, Ron Lancaster returned to the field to assume the Head Coaching duties on an interim basis taking over from the departed Greg Marshall. Lancaster also served as the team's Senior Director of Football Operations, a position he has held since July of 2005.
The return to the sidelines marked Lancaster’s second stint as head coach for the Ticats. The two-time Coach of the Year is the fourth winningest CFL coach in history with 138 wins including two Grey Cup victories. In his first stint with the Tiger-Cats, Hamilton finished five of the six seasons .500 or better including a 1999 Grey Cup victory.
After serving as Head Coach and Director of Football Operations for six seasons, new Tiger-Cats owner Bob Young elevated Ron Lancaster to the role of General Manager, Football Operations on December 12, 2003.
Ron became the 17th head coach in Hamilton Tiger-Cat history on November 26, 1997.
In 1998, Lancaster guided the Tiger-Cats to a first-place finish in the East Division at 12-5-1 and an appearance in the Grey Cup against the Calgary Stampeders, who defeated Hamilton 26-24. Lancaster was selected the CFL's coach of the year for 1998. It was the second time he has received the award, which he won previously in 1996 with the Edmonton Eskimos. Lancaster is the fifth Tiger-Cat head coach to win the Annis Stukus Trophy as CFL coach of the year since the award was first presented in 1961. He was the first to earn the honour since Al Bruno won in 1986. Lancaster directed a turnaround season that saw the team rebound from a 2-16 record in 1997, the then worst in team history, to the best record ever for the Tiger-Cats. The 21-point turnaround was the second greatest in CFL history.
Lancaster led the Tiger-Cats to an 11-7 regular-season record in 1999. The Tiger-Cats beat the Toronto Argonauts and Montreal Alouettes in the Eastern Division playoffs and won their eighth Grey Cup, and first since 1986, with a 32-21 win over Calgary in Vancouver. The Tiger-Cats were second in the East with a 9-9-0 record, including 2 overtime losses, for 20 points in 2000 and were defeated by the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the Eastern Semi-Final. The Tiger-Cats were second in the East again in 2001, with an 11-7-0 record, defeating Montreal in the Eastern Semi-Final and were beaten in the Eastern Final at Winnipeg. In 2002, the Tiger-Cats missed the playoffs for the first time in Lancaster's tenure finishing 7-11 with an overtime loss for 15 points and in 2003 were 1-17.
From 1991 to 1997, Lancaster was the head coach of the Edmonton Eskimos. He was named the team's 12th head coach February 4th, 1991. He compiled an 83-43 won-lost regular-season record and surpassed Eskimo president and C.E.O. Hugh Campbell for first place on the Eskimos' list for coaching wins October 27th, 1996. The Eskimos were Grey Cup Champions in 1993, winning 33-23 over the Winnipeg Blue Bombers at Calgary's McMahon Stadium. In 1996, the Eskimos played in the Grey Cup at Hamilton's Ivor Wynne Stadium and were defeated 43-37 by the Toronto Argonauts. The Eskimos played in the Western final six times in Lancaster's seven seasons in Edmonton.
Ron was named head coach of the Saskatchewan Roughriders the day he retired from a brilliant career with the Ottawa Rough Riders and Saskatchewan. He was the head coach in Saskatchewan from October, 1978 through the end of the 1980 season. CBC Television recognized Ron's talents and invited him to become a colour commentator on CFL broadcasts when he left his position in Saskatchewan. He was with the CBC in that capacity for a decade and was a member of the CBC team at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, Korea as the play-by-play broadcaster for basketball.
Ron started his professional playing career with Ottawa. Ottawa won the Grey Cup in his rookie season in 1960, and he spent two more years with Ottawa, sharing the quarterback's role with another Hall of Famer, Russ Jackson. Lancaster was traded to Saskatchewan in 1963 and led the team into the playoffs in 14 of his 16 seasons in the West Division. Saskatchewan won 170 games with Ron at quarterback before he retired after 19 seasons as a player.
He is third all-time on the CFL's career list with 3,384 pass completions, 6,233 pass attempts and 50,535 yards passing. Ron won the Schenley Award as most outstanding player in 1970 and 1976 and was a finalist for the award in 1966. He was an All-Canadian in 1970, 1973, 1975 and 1976 and a Western all-star in 1966, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1973, 1975 and 1976. He was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 1982 and the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame in 1985.
Lancaster taught high school in Regina for 7-1/2 years while playing for Saskatchewan and became a player/coach from 1972 through 1978. He was the offensive coordinator in 1977 and 1978, while still running the offence at quarterback. Ron established school passing records in 3-1/2 years at Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio. He was born in Fairchance, Pennsylvania on October 14th, 1938 and grew up in Clairton, Pennsylvania. He and his wife, Bev, have three children Lana, R.D, who is the offensive co-ordinator of the Edmonton Eskimos and Bobby, who coaches the defensive backs at Catawba College and works in NFL Europe. They also have four grandchildren.