Now Lowell Ullrich has come home.
Ullrich, the longtime former Province Sports football writer affectionately known as “L.U.” across the country, has been named to the B.C. Football Hall of Fame’s class of 2016.
Ullrich joined The Province in 1979 and started covering the B.C. Lions in 1999, after spending a few years writing about the Vancouver Grizzlies. He retired from The Province in the fall of 2015 and continues to do both radio commentary and writing stories about the Lions.
Among other B.C. Football Hall of Fame inductees announced Thursday:
• Damon Allen had several CFL stops before signing with the Lions in 1996, setting a club record by making 121 starts for the Lions from 1996 through 2002, including a run of 109 consecutive games. He led the Lions to a Grey Cup win in 2000 — their first title since 1994 — and was named the game’s most valuable player. He spent seven seasons with the Lions and retired in 2007 as the CFL’s all-time leading passer with 72,381 total yards, plus four Grey Cup wins.
• South Delta High School grad Harald Hasselbach played at the University of Washington and then four seasons with the Calgary Stampeders. But his greatest football years were with the Denver Broncos, where the defensive end played seven seasons and 112 games, not missing a single game in his NFL career.
• Halfback-punter Rod Pantages graduated from Vancouver’s King Edward High School and won Grey Cups with the Calgary Stampeders and Edmonton Eskimos. Pantages died in Vancouver in 2012 at the age of 83. Fellow King Edward grad Greg Cotter, a guard, played nearly a decade in the CFL in the 1960s with the Lions and Eskimos.
• Defensive back Bruce Barnett was a graduate of Handsworth Secondary in North Vancouver, starred for the UBC Thunderbirds and played for the Lions in 1985 and 1986.
• Eric Guthrie played QB for Kitsilano, then became one of Boise State’s greatest-ever at the position — as well as a punter and place-kicker. Drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in 1972, he played four seasons with the Lions and saw some action as the club’s punter before they signed Lui Passaglia.
• Chris Beaton had a long career as the head coach of the SFU Clan and continues to coach as the defensive coordinator at Hugh Boyd Secondary in Richmond. George Oswald was a student, player, coach and vice-principal over nearly a half-century at Vancouver’s Notre Dame High School, winning 14 provincial titles in different capacities and even serving as the Lions’ longtime assistant equipment manager. Californian Matt Phillips stayed in B.C. after a short stint at defensive tackle for the Lions in 1957, helping create at least six high school football programs. He continues to serve as a volunteer assistant coach at Surrey’s Earl Marriott Secondary. And former SFU running back George Chayka, an executive with the Lions for two decades, was awarded the CFL Bob Ackles Award.