Longtime CFL defensive lineman Dan Kearns passes away

Photo courtesy: Scott Grant/CFLPhotoArchive.com

Longtime CFL defensive lineman Dan Kearns has passed away at the age of 65.

“We’re saddened to hear of the passing of Dan Kearns, who proudly wore the Green and Gold from 1980 to 1988,” the Edmonton Elks tweeted on Wednesday. “Dan was an outstanding representative of the EE and the game of football. He will be dearly missed.”

Kearns was selected in the second round of the 1980 CFL Draft out of Simon Fraser University. He played nine seasons with Edmonton (8) and one with Winnipeg ( recording 23.5 sacks, 10 fumble recoveries, and one interception that he returned for a touchdown. The CFL did not track tackles as an official statistic until 1989.

The six-foot-three, 240-pound defensive end was born in Brazil and did not begin playing football until he attended high school at Wexford Collegiate Institute in Scarborough, Ont.

“Sad to hear of the passing of my friend and teammate Dan Kearns my heart goes out to Karen and family,” tweeted former teammate Neil Lumsden. “You’d be hard pressed to find a better man.”

Kearns won four Grey Cups with Edmonton, capturing championships in 1980, 1981, 1982, and 1987.