The lacrosse world was shook to it’s knees last week with the passing of player, coach, builder, and supporter, Rob McDougall. Rob’s body was found Friday, after going missing without a trace Thursday afternoon in Oakville. Police haven’t released details, but the sports world in general is reeling.
Rob started playing lacrosse in 1965 in the Oakville minor rep system and continued up the ranks through Junior until 1981 when he finished his playing career with the Brampton Excelsiors of the Major Series Lacrosse league.
A talented artist, Rob graduated from the Art College of Ontario with honors in 1985. Many of you would recognize his work as he was the sports artist for the Toronto Sun, The Hockey News, as well as being the official illustrator for the Toronto Blue Jays. McDougall was the one to come up with the original Toronto Rock Logo, as well as logos for the Oakville Hawks, and Oakville Buzz lacrosse teams.
Founder and Coach:
In 1991 Rob got back into lacrosse when he designed the uniforms, and was part of the startup of the Oakville Hawks which brought lacrosse back to the Oakville area after many years of dormancy. McDougall also tried his hand at coaching, when he started coaching a peanut team (4 year olds) which his son was on, which led to over 20 years of coaching in many different skill and age levels.
Rob had a chance to coach, and learn alongside a young Troy Cordingley in the 90’s. The knowledge and intensity Troy brought to the team helped many players strive and reach for great heights, be it NLL, NHL, or other sports. A self proclaimed disciple of Troy, Rob was most effective teaching beginners proper techniques as well as breaking bad habits. Rob’s drills were quick movement, high tempo and hard work.
In 1996, Rob held the first Celebrity Lacrosse game featuring current and past NHL/NLL players as well as Hall of Famers. This event lead to an annual event in different communities to promote lacrosse.
Art Design and Lacrosse:
In 1999 Rob was asked to design a logo and uniform for the new National Lacrosse League team, the Toronto Rock, after their move from Hamilton (Ontario Raiders). In 2000 McDougall was part of the Junior B launch of the Oakville Buzz, once again designing the logo and uniform for the team.
Over the years, Rob had designed many logos for teams including the Newmarket Redbirds, Burlington Chiefs, and the Huntsville Hawks to name a few.
Not just minor league lacrosse, Rob was part of the coaching staff for the Australian National Box Lacrosse team. Australia wanted a Canadian to be part of the team to show them the nuances of the game, and Rob had been part of the team since 2003.
Although known mostly for his sports designs, and characatures, McDougall was talented at painting everything from pets, to families, to musicians, and was commissioned to create art in many different fields throughout the world.
Rob McDougall’s shocking death is felt by many people in many walks of life. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this difficult time. His legacy will live on forever.