The lacrosse world was shaken to its knees last week with the passing of player, coach, builder, and supporter, Rob MacDougall. 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. MacDougall 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. MacDougall 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 90s. 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 in 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 leads 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 MacDougall 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 characters, MacDougall 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 MacDougall’s shocking death is felt by many people from many walks of life. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this difficult time. His legacy will live on forever.
Gary Groob has been involved with Lacrosse for the majority of his life, whether playing, coaching, or covering the sport for the media.
An avid fan, with a real drive about helping to “grow the game”, Gary became part of podcasts about the game in 2010. Through the podcasts, Mr. Groob was given an opportunity to write about lacrosse, and the rest as they say, is history.
Through many miles (flying and driving) Gary has made inroads with the National Lacrosse League, Major Series Lacrosse League, the Ontario Lacrosse Association, as well as the Arena Lacrosse League, covering the leagues, their teams, and players, working for, and in concert with all of them.
In the year 2020, Mr. Groob was made the media person for the Arena Lacrosse League, voted onto the board of directors of the Brampton Excelsiors Lacrosse Club, as well as being made administrator of the Lacrosse page “Global Lacrosse” with a membership of 9000 members in over 90 Countries. Gary was also made an administrator of Lacrosse History Past Present and Future in 2022.
Mr. Groob co-hosts a weekly Lacrosse show on Spanglish Sports World, and ZingoTV channel 250, as well as writes a weekly lacrosse column for La Portada Canada News (both in print, and online).
Gary also hosts a Lacrosse talk show and podcast for The Edge of Philly Sports Network, seen live Sunday nights at 9pm (ET), and archived on the Edge of Philly YouTube page, as well as Spotify.
Mr. Groob’s other sports interests include Hockey, Football, Boxing, Wrestling, and Baseball, competing competitively in Boxing and Wrestling for many years.