Lancaster named special adviser with Tiger-Cats
Ron Lancaster is beginning a new journey with a familiar team.
The Hamilton Tiger-Cats announced Wednesday that the former senior director of football operations has been named special adviser of organizational development.
Lancaster's new role willfocus more on the team's involvement in the community as he will contribute to team broadcasts, the Ticats' interactive community and corporate partnerships.
"Hamilton is a great community with incredible football fans that have always supported me during my years here," Lancaster said in a statement. "I enjoy living and working in Hamilton and after being on the other side of the organization for so many years, I look forward to becoming more involved with the Hamilton community."
His new role caps off an era of constant change for Lancaster, whoheld numerous titleswith the Tiger-Cats in recent years.
Lancaster joined Hamilton as their head coach following the 1997 season.
He led the club to consecutive Grey Cup appearances,winning the championship in 1999. But four years later, the Ticats finished a franchise-worst 1-17 and ownership issues forced the CFL to assume control of the franchise.
When Bob Young took over ownership of the Ticats in 2003, he promoted Lancaster to the front office when he hired former McMaster head coach Greg Marshall to handle the coaching duties.
Lancaster returned to the sidelines on an interim basis in 2006 after Marshall was fired.
But Young hired Marcel Desjardins as general manager midway through the 2006 season, placing Lancaster's future in Hamilton's front office in question. In January, Hamilton confirmed that Lancaster would not be returning to the football operations office next season.
Despite his recent ups and downs in Hamilton, Lancaster has enjoyed a long and successful tenure in the CFL, both on and off the field.
The 68-year-old native of Fairchance, Pa., first came to Canada in 1960 to play with the Ottawa Rough Riders. He was traded to the Saskatchewan Roughriders in 1963 and spent 16 seasons with the West Division club.
His career as a head coach also started in Saskatchewan, where he only lasted two years after posting consecutive 2-14 records. After a successful stint in broadcasting, he returned to the sidelines with Edmonton in 1991, where he hada 83-42 record and led the Eskimos to a Grey Cup in 1993.
He is a member of the Canadian Football Hall of Fame (1982), Canada's Sports Hall of Fame (1985) and was voted the seventh-best player in CFL history in 2006.
"Ron Lancaster's success in this league speaks for itself, as does the respect he commands from everybody associated with the CFL," Ticats president Scott Mitchell said. "We consider ourselves very fortunate to have had Ron as part of our team since 1998, and we look forward to Ron continuing to make a significant contribution to our organization in future years."