Ottawa Redblacks running back Brendan Gillanders retires after CFL eight seasons

OTTAWA — Brendan Gillanders is calling it a career.

The Ottawa Redblacks running back announced his retirement Friday after eight CFL seasons.

"When I started playing football here in Ottawa at the age of 10, I never dreamt I would one day play in two Grey Cups, and help bring one home to family, friends and our amazing fanbase," Gillanders said in a statement. "As hard as it is to walk away from playing professional football, it is much harder to leave the amazing people in our locker room and facility."

Following his college career at the University of Ottawa, Gillanders signed with the Toronto Argonauts in 2014 before joining the Redblacks before the 2016 season. The franchise won its first CFL that year and also appeared in the Grey Cup in 2018.

"I"m not sure I've had a player prepare with the professionalism and detail that Brendan did in my seven years in Ottawa," said head coach Bob Dyce. "Gilly set the standard high for himself and his teammates and we will miss him immensely.

"We wish him and his family all the best as they embark on this next step."

Gillanders appeared in 114 regular-season games, rushing for 302 yards on 66 carries while adding 39 catches for 344 yards. He also registered 63 special-teams tackles, and had a forced fumble.

Gillanders was also a mainstay in the Ottawa community. In 2022, he was named Ottawa's nominee for the Jake Gaudaur Veteran's Award, presented annually to the CFL player who best demonstrates the attributes of Canada's veterans.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 13, 2023.

The Canadian Press