Three-time Grey Cup champion Carl Crennel has passed away

Photo courtesy: Handout/Montreal Alouettes

Three-time Grey Cup champion Carl Crennel has died at the age of 74.

The six-foot-one, 225-pound linebacker was a ninth-round pick of the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 1970 NFL Draft. He played one season with the team before coming north to play with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers (1971), Montreal Alouettes (1972-79), Edmonton Football Team (1979), Hamilton Tiger-Cats (1980), and Saskatchewan Roughriders (1981).

Crennel was named a three-time East Division all-star as a member of the Alouettes and won his first two Grey Cups as a member of the team in 1974 and 1977. He won his final CFL championship in 1979 with Edmonton.

The native of Lynchburg, Va. recorded 14 interceptions and 13 fumble recoveries over 150 career games. The CFL did not record sacks an official statistic until 1981, nor did it tracks tackles as an official statistic until 1987.

“We are saddened to learn of the passing of Carl Crennel,” the Alouettes wrote in a statement. “Our condolences go out to his family, friends, and former teammates.”

Carl was the younger brother of Romeo Crennel, who won five Super Bowls as an assistant coach. The 76-year-old coached in the NFL for 40 years, including stints as the head coach of the Cleveland Browns, Kansas City Chiefs, and Houston Texans.