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Former CFL all-star and TSN analyst Chris Schultz dies at 61

Just hours after learning about the death of Walter Gretzky, the Canadian sports world was rocked by more tragic news this morning.

It was announced this morning that Chris Schultz, a former professional football player turned TSN analyst, died of a heart attack on Thursday.

He was just 61-years-old.

When he played football, Schultz was an offensive tackle who was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the seventh round of the 1983 NFL draft.

The Burlington, Ont. native stayed down south for three years before returning to Canada to play in the CFL for the Toronto Argonauts, who drafted his rights in the first round of the 1982 CFL draft.

He ended up playing 124 games for the Argos over a nine-season career, twice being named a league all-star in 1987 and 1988.

Schultz and the Argos appeared in the Grey Cup in 1987, losing to the Edmonton Eskimos, but made it back to the big game in 1991 and beat the Calgary Stampeders 36-21 to win the championship.

After his playing career ended, Schultz became a football analyst for TSN and was a staple on the network’s CFL broadcasts for a number of years.

In 2016, he was inducted into the Ontario Sports Hall of Fame.

Tributes have been pouring in for Schultz all morning, as coworkers, teammates, friends and more have taken to social media to remember the 6’8”, 277 lbs giant with a larger-than-life personality.

“Heartbroken to hear of the passing of Chris Schultz; a Canadian football star and one of the CFL’s most passionate voices,” wrote Chris Cuthbert in a tweet.

“He excelled on both sides of the border, and on TV and radio. A Cowboy, an Argo, a homegrown legend. We’ll miss him.”

Randy Ambrosie, CFL commissioner and Schultz’s teammate for two years in Toronto, remembered his good friend as a man with a big heart.

“We called Chris Schultz the Big Man for so many reasons beyond the obvious,” said Ambrosie.

“He had a big personality. He could make you think as easily as he could make you laugh. He had a big presence on CFL on TSN, breaking down each game with incredible passion, insight and joy."

Ambrosie added that Schultz’s untimely passing leaves a giant-sized hole in the CFL family.

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