New quarterback Trevor Harris remains the talk of the town but the Saskatchewan Roughriders may have made their most significant signing of CFL free agency off the field.
On Sunday, the club announced they have hired beloved Saskatchewan sportswriter and columnist Rob Vanstone as their new senior journalist and Roughrider historian.
Vanstone will be responsible for producing exclusive in-house written content for fans on Riderville.com, producing stories, features and columns about Riders past and present. He will also log and record the team’s history, sharing his research via written pieces and unique video projects.
“Rob Vanstone is a generational voice in the sports landscape of Saskatchewan, and his storytelling abilities paired with his knowledge of our football club and its history is unmatched,” Roughriders president and CEO Craig Reynolds said in a statement. “When Rob approached us just a couple of weeks ago about the potential of joining the team and writing our stories – past, present and future – we knew it was an opportunity we just had to bring to our fans. We could not be more thrilled to have him join the Roughriders.”
Vanstone enjoyed a 36-year journalistic career with the Regina Leader-Post, covering local. junior, university and professional sports in Saskatchewan. While his work has included writing about everything from high school basketball to WHL hockey, and even the Olympics, he is best known for his coverage of the Riders.
In 2019, Vanstone published a book entitled 100 Things Roughriders Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die, an in-depth look at many of the forgotten stories in team history. Now, sharing those tidbits of information with the Saskatchewan fanbase will be his full-time job.
“I am so honoured and flattered by this opportunity and simply cannot wait to begin telling Roughriders stories in a new capacity,” Vanstone said in a team statement. “It feels as though I have been informally and unintentionally preparing for my second dream job since Mom started taking me to Roughriders games — while she was expecting me.”
The 58-year-old revealed that he was stepping away from his position at the Leader-Post on Saturday in a heartfelt column. He has been a household name in Regina ever since he arrived on the media scene in 1986, working at the paper for 13,431 days.
Vanstone will produce his first piece for the Roughriders on Tuesday, February 21.
“I am so grateful to the Leader-Post, its readers and all the wonderful people with whom I have been able to work since May 12, 1986,” he continued. “Another milestone in my life is set for Feb. 21, 2023 and I plan to unrelentingly thank the Roughriders and their unrivalled fan base every day by immersing myself in my new and varied responsibilities — hopefully for another 37 years.”