‘I had a great run,’ remembering sportscaster Al McCann
Julia Parrish, CTV Edmonton
Published Thursday, March 12, 2015 1:21PM MDT
Last Updated Thursday, March 12, 2015 7:45PM MDT
The world of sports has lost a major figure, as legendary sportscaster Al McCann passed away this week.
“You know, we’ve often said that there would be a whole bunch of people who would sign up for my dad’s life,” McCann’s daughter, Shaunda Yeoman said.
In his decades covering sports in Edmonton, he brought Edmontonians highlights during the Oilers glory days, in addition to countless other milestone sporting events in Alberta’s capital city.
Al McCann grew up in Coaldale, Alberta and his career started in the late 1950s, when he covered sports at a radio station in Lethbridge.
“My dad, Bill Hogle, hired Al in 1963 from Lethbridge,” Former CFRN News Director Bruce Hogle said.
McCann began his 30 year stint at CFRN – now CTV Edmonton. He started as a sports announcer, eventually working his way to Sports Director – covering 28 CFL Grey Cups, numerous Stanley Cup championships, and curling Briers.
He covered most major sports stories in Edmonton – but his talents also took him to the international sports stage.
Meanwhile, he was beloved by those he worked for, and talent he mentored.
“He was a great boss to work for,” Hogle said.
Former CFRN sports reporter Lisa Miller, who worked at the station between 1978 and 1999, was hired by McCann, and has countless fond memories of her former boss.
“I was the little punk in his face saying but ‘I really want to do this, I really want this job, I really want to be a sports reporter’,” Miller said.
“I saw him two and a half weeks ago, and he was in great shape, we had a great talk.”
McCann retired from broadcasting in 1993, and was inducted into the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame that same year.
One of his last public appearances was in the fall of 2013 – at the unveiling of ‘The Sportscasters’ mural, located at 100 Avenue and 50 Street, as part of the ‘Giants of Edmonton’ series of murals.
His working life saw him covering a variety of sports – but his family said he always loved golf. He met a number of legends, but Shaunda said one achievement on the golf course always eluded him, a hole in one.
Shaunda said her father had heart problems, and never completely recovered from a fall that left him with a broken hip. Hogle visited his friend in hospital as he recuperated.
“We reminisced,” Hogle said. “We knew, maybe, that it would not be too many more visits, but we didn’t worry about that, because he said: ‘You know what, we’ve all gotta go’.”
McCann was 85-years-old. He is survived by his wife Joan, daughter, son Darren, and two grandchildren.
The family said a memorial is being planned for the spring.
“My dad, my dad, he loved life, he absolutely loved life,” Shaunda said.
“His own words were: ‘I had a great run’.”
With files from Susan Amerongen