Iwas just returning home from an eye doctor appointment when I heard the news.
A good friend and media colleague had died suddenly. And after reading a few comments on a Facebook post where I found out of the passing, I learned a few new things.
Lance Renaud had a lot of friends. He knew a lot of people I knew, but I didn’t know he knew them.
“Really disheartening to have colleagues continue to pass. Larry Cotlar, Chuck Shockley and now Lance,” said Geoff Conn, a former radio show host at 1460 KXNO in Des Moines. “Lance was a nice guy. Sat beside him in the press at Iowa State football games frequently back in the day.”
Renaud was the long-time broadcaster of Marshalltown football, basketball and baseball games. He’s a media legend in Marshall County.
I worked with him a lot while working as the assistant sports editor for the Marshalltown Times-Republican. We worked well together.
We had deadlines of around midnight at the T-R. I didn’t always have a ton of a time to write my stories.
After football and basketball games, when time was tight, and the head coach spoke live on the radio first, Lance let me set my tape recorder down and use the comments from his radio interview for my story. It saved me time.
He did something similar with T-R Sports Editor Ross Thede.
“I had the pleasure of working alongside Lance a number of times, and he was nothing but considerate, genuine and appreciative of the athletes’ efforts and performances no matter the event,” Thede said in a Facebook post. “He’d always let me listen in or even offer a question to coaches during live radio interviews, and that was something I always appreciated very much.”
That’s the kind of guy he was. He wasn’t in the job for competition. He didn’t care if someone else had the breaking story first. He was more concerned with building strong relationships with those he interacted with every day.
And I have never heard anyone say a bad thing about him.
“One of the absolute nicest people I’ve ever had the pleasure to work beside,” said former T-R Assistant Sports Editor Thorn Compton on Twitter. “Central Iowa lost a fine man.”
When I left Marshalltown to come to Newton, our paths didn’t cross as much.
Lance and I were Facebook friends. He commented on my never important sports posts or things I shared once in a while.
The last time I remember seeing him was at the state softball tournament a few years back. I was up there covering Colfax-Mingo. He was there to broadcast a West Marshall game, I think.
He found me walking to my car after my game and made sure to stop me and chat for 30 minutes.
Even if I didn’t have time to chat, I stopped anyway and caught up with a friend. Because Lance was a good dude. I’m not sure there was a mean bone in his body.
Former NDN sports writer Andrew Potter, who also worked at the T-R in Marshalltown, also knew Lance.
“I worked alongside Lance often in the media,” Potter posted on Facebook. “He truly cared for people and it showed. Was nice to see him around Marshalltown after he retired. He will be missed by many.”
His death was tragic. I don’t have accurate information on what caused his death but it was definitely sudden.
Lance retired from full-time broadcasting a few years back. But he did umpire softball games. He even got assigned a regional playoff game this summer.
Stan Allspach, who has lots of ties to Jasper County, knew Lance. They umpired together several times.
Allspach told me he talked to Lance recently and Lance expressed how excited he was to work a postseason game. Getting playoff games means you must have done something right along the way.
Allspach also told me that Lance grew up on a farm near Sully. I didn’t know that.
He also did sports radio in Ottumwa for a while and was part of the Ottumwa Babe Ruth Little League for many years.
Being a fan of the Cincinnati Reds, I could always count on Lance for a little jab as he was a die-hard St. Louis Cardinals fan.
He gave grief to Cubs fans, too, One Cubs fans in particular was John Schrempf, who worked as Lance’s color commentator for Bobcat athletic events.
“I lost a dear friend today. I enjoyed many games broadcasting with Lance. And also many car rides on Friday nights,” Schrempf said. “The Cubs-Cardinals games won’t be the same without Lance sending me a little jab. Rest In Peace buddy.”
I will miss Lance. He was a good man who was lost too soon.
Troy Hyde is a sports reporter for Newton News.