The former Ticats assistant coach, known as R.D., was found dead in his Hamilton apartment on Tuesday night. Tina Lancaster, R.D.'s ex-wife, said he was in constant contact with daughters Brittany, 20, and Brie, 18, and they called police when they hadn't heard from their Dad in several days.
“It he died of natural causes. He had been ill on and off but there was nothing that the doctors had diagnosed,” said Tina Lancaster, who spoke to the coroner on Wednesday. “He died peacefully.”
The son of former Ticats and Riders great Ron Lancaster, R.D. served as an assistant coach in Toronto, Edmonton, Hamilton and Winnipeg. He made five Grey Cup appearances and won three championships, including the 1999 title with Hamilton.
Lancaster also served as head coach at the University of Manitoba from 1993 to 1995 and as an assistant at McMaster, University of Toronto and Acadia from 1985 to 1990. He began his coaching career as the offensive coordinator at Central Collegiate in Regina.
“Right now, he's in a better place drawing up X's and O's with his Dad – I can see them now with the clipboard,” said Tina. “Nothing brought more joy to him.”
Since 2007, Lancaster had been teaching and coaching junior and high school football in Hamilton. He was 50.