Former Ottawa player/coach George Brancato dies at 88

October 23, 2019

OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) — George Brancato, the former LSU two-way back who won Grey Cup titles with the Ottawa Rough Riders as a player, assistant coach and head coach, has died. He was 88.

The Redblacks, Ottawa's current Canadian Football League team, confirmed Brancato's death Wednesday.

Brancato, at 5-foot-7 and 177 pounds, played halfback and defensive back with Ottawa from 1957-62, earning his first Grey Cup in 1960. He added another as an assistant in 1973 and, as head coach in 1976, led the Riders' to a 23-30 victory over Saskatchewan in the title game.

Called the "The Ice Man" because he chewed ice on the sideline, the Brooklyn native was fired following the '84 season after the Riders went 4-12. He was 82-90-4 in the regular season and 8-10 in the playoffs.

Brancato also played five games in the NFL in 1954 with the Chicago Cardinals and spent the 1956 season in the CFL with the Montreal Alouettes. He also coached in the Arena Football League.

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