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Former CFL player, executive Lyle Bauer dead at age 65


Lyle Bauer, a former CFL player and executive, has died. He was 65.

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers, the team Bauer played for and later served as CEO, announced Bauer’s death on its Instagram page Wednesday.

Bauer, a Saskatoon native, played his entire 10-year CFL career as an offensive lineman with the Blue Bombers (1982-91). He was named the team’s top offensive lineman in 1988 and won three Grey Cups with the Blue Bombers (1984, 1988, 1990).

Bauer, who played collegiately at Weber State in Utah, was inducted into the Blue Bombers Hall of Fame in 1998.

After retiring as a player, Bauer became Winnipeg’s assistant GM in 1992, a position he held for three seasons. He returned five years later in 2000 as team president/CEO with the franchise struggling financially.

Bauer helped the community-owned club regain its footing, on and off the field. During his front-office tenure, the Bombers reached the Grey Cup four times (1992-93, 2001, 2007).

Bauer helped create the Never Alone Foundation in 2004 after being diagnosed with throat cancer. The foundation assists cancer patients and their families in their battle with the disease.

“Lyle Bauer played a significant role for the Blue Bombers during his time with the club as a player, assistant general manager and team president,” Bombers president/CEO Wade Mille said. “He helped guide the team through some difficult challenges at the turn of the millennium and was a key component in the franchise’s rebirth in the early 2000s.

“Our thoughts and condolences go out to his family, his friends across the Canadian Football League and those he helped through the Never Alone Foundation.”

Bauer resigned from the Bombers on Dec. 17, 2009. In January 2010, the Calgary Stampeders announced the hiring of Bauer as their CEO and president.

Bauer remained with the Stampeders until January 2013.

John Hufnagel, Calgary’s special adviser, was a teammate of Bauer’s in Winnipeg and served as the Stampeders GM and head coach while Bauer was the franchise’s president.

“I greatly enjoyed working with Lyle, both as a teammate and in management,” Hufnagel said in a statement. “He was excellent in both roles and he was a great friend.

“On behalf of the Stampeders organization, I offer condolences to Lyle’s wife Heidi and their children as well as to all other members of his family and his many friends.”

   This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 1, 2024.

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