Former Michigan Star And CFL Champ Dead At 33

 March 2, 2024

The sports world has lost a luminous star, former University of Michigan football player Craig Roh, who succumbed to a prolonged battle with Stage IV colon cancer at the tender age of 33.

Craig Roh's journey--from a celebrated collegiate athlete to a formidable presence in the Canadian Football League, and finally, as a courageous warrior against cancer--has come to a heartrending conclusion, leaving behind a legacy of resilience, compassion, and unyielding faith.

Chelsea Roh, his devoted wife, shared the somber news with his followers, shedding light on his 18-month fight against the formidable disease that eventually claimed his life on February 26, 2024.

Her announcement on his X account was both a tribute to his stoic battle and a reflection of the private nature with which Craig faced his diagnosis, focusing his energies on his professional aspirations and content creation rather than on publicizing his personal struggles.

Roh's Remarkable Commitment to Football and Family

Roh's collegiate career at the University of Michigan set the stage for his professional aspirations, where he was a model of consistency and excellence on the field. Starting in 51 consecutive games, he earned accolades that included an All-Freshman honorable mention in 2009, an All-Big Ten honorable mention in 2011, and an All-Big Ten Second-Team nod in 2012.

Despite the setback of going undrafted in the 2013 NFL Draft, Roh's passion and determination never waned. He signed with the Carolina Panthers, and though his time there was brief, his journey did not end.

Roh found success and acclaim in the Canadian Football League (CFL), culminating in a Grey Cup victory with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in 2019. His remarkable journey through the ranks of the CFL, with stints at the BC Lions, Winnipeg Blue Bombers, and Toronto Argonauts until 2021, showcased his athletic prowess and unwavering perseverance.

After the Field: Roh's Pursuit of Passion and Purpose

Upon retiring from professional football, Craig Roh channeled his relentless drive into entrepreneurial ventures, notably founding an online defensive line coaching football business. This pivot from athlete to entrepreneur highlighted his multifaceted talents and his desire to impact the sport beyond the field.

Chelsea Roh's poignant recount of her husband's privacy during his health crisis speaks volumes about the man's character. "Craig was not very public with his battle, as he truly just wanted to focus on bringing the best content and building the best products he could," she reflected.

This sentiment echoes the selflessness with which Roh lived, prioritizing his contributions over his narrative. Tributes to Roh underscore the depth of his impact, from former teammates like Taylor Lewan, who credits Roh with his professional success, to Sherrone Moore, the current Michigan head coach, who admired Roh's unparalleled dedication and leadership.

Roh's Lasting Legacy: Faith, Love, and Resilience

A GoFundMe page established in his honor vividly captures the essence of Roh's life: his fervent passion, love for his family, and devout Christianity. It paints a picture of a man who, despite facing a devastating diagnosis, maintained his focus on the joy and love in his life.

Craig Roh's story is one of a remarkable individual who, across different chapters of his life--as an athlete, an entrepreneur, and a fighter against cancer--showed extraordinary courage and resilience.

From his impressive career at the University of Michigan and in the CFL to his battle with cancer, Craig's life was defined by his dedication to his sport, entrepreneurial spirit, love for his family, and unwavering faith. These enduring qualities ensure that while he may have departed this world, his legacy will continue to inspire.

About Victor Winston

Victor is a freelance writer and researcher who focuses on national politics, geopolitics, and economics.

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