April 6, 2024

15-year CFL vet Chris Van Zeyl announces retirement

The Canadian Press

HAMILTON — The Hamilton Tiger-Cats announced on Saturday that National offensive lineman Chris Van Zeyl will retire after a long and successful 15-year career in the CFL.

“Chris’s career in the CFL has been nothing short of extraordinary. He has achieved incredible feats both on and off of the field, making him the epitome of professionalism,” said Orlondo Steinauer, president of football operations of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

“It was awesome to coach Chris over the years, but also rewarding to see him develop into an outstanding leader and person. In addition to expressing sincere appreciation to Chris for the contributions he has made to our organization and the city of Hamilton, we extend our best to him and his family in the future.”

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The Fonthill, Ont. native suited up in 36 regular season games and seven playoff games over his four seasons in Hamilton (2019-2023) and helped the Tiger-Cats reach back-to-back Grey Cups in 2019 and 2021. During his time in Hamilton, the former McMaster Marauder was named a CFL All-Star (2019), a CFL East-All twice (2019, 2021) and the CFL’s Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman in 2019.

Over his 15-year career, Van Zeyl suited up in 192 regular season games, 12 playoff games and four Grey Cup games (100, 105, 107, 108) with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats (2019-2023) and Toronto Argonauts (2008-2018). A two-time Grey Cup Champion (2012, 2017), Van Zeyl also enjoyed plenty of individual accolades including being named a CFL All-Star three times (2013, 2017, 2019) and a CFL East All-Star seven times (2013, 2014, 2016-2019, 2021).

In addition to his contributions on the field, Van Zeyl made an incredible impact on the Hamilton community and was named the recipient of the Jake Gaudaur Veteran’s Trophy in 2021, which is presented to the player who best demonstrates the attributes of Canada’s veterans. He has contributed to many community initiatives in Hamilton, including United Way Halton & Hamilton’s Sleepless in our Cities, TELUS #EndBullying All-Stars, Interval House of Hamilton’s Be More Than A Bystander, the STELCO High School Mentorship program, Hamilton Health Sciences and the Children’s Aid Society.

Van Zeyl played his university football in Hamilton at McMaster University, where he anchored the defensive line for four seasons (2004-2007) and was named a CIS All-Canadian, first-team OUA and the Marauder defensive lineman of the year (2007). He was selected by the Montreal Alouettes in the third round, 18th overall in the 2007 CFL Draft and transitioned to the offensive line shortly after signing with the Argonauts in 2008.

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