February 23, 2024

Sean Whyte | 5 Things To Know

In the return of the first 5 Things To Know in 2024, what better way than letting CFL All-Star kicker Sean Whyte reveal some bits and pieces about his CFL career over the last 15 years? Sean started this offseason with a piece of exciting news, that he and his wife, Ranna are expecting their first child this fall. 2024 will be a meaningful year for Sean. As he prepares for parenthood, he’s also been dreaming of playing in the Grey Cup at home since the first time he practised with the Lions in 2003.

We know he is capable of knocking down some of the biggest game deciding kicks on the field. Sean is also an interesting person off the field with his versatile hobbies such as golfing, throwing darts and has even coached minor football for the White Rock South Surrey Titans.

Here are 5 Things Sean would want you to know about him.

1. Sean’s dog, Tucker changed is life. 

In 2017, Sean had torn his quad while playing in Edmonton. He said he was miserable and used to go out to party a lot. He knew he had always wanted a dog. One day, an RCMP officer who he knew told him that there was a puppy found on the reserve. The puppy’s mother was found dead in a ditch and the puppy was wandering on a dirt road. The officer told Sean he had 24 hours to pick up the puppy or the RCMP would have to return the puppy to a family on the reserve.

“The puppy just needed his shots. So I booked an appointment with the vet right away. I was hanging out with my teammates and told them I was getting a dog. All the guys that have dogs made a list for me with what I needed to get. Then we came up with a bunch of different names. We created a playoff tree with the options. Tucker was the name we chose,” Whyte recalled.

Sean Whyte is more than just a clutch kicker. In our latest 5 Things To Know, we learn about his love of rugby, dog tucker and much more!

Photo credit: Sean Whyte

The veterinarian informed Sean that Tucker was only five weeks old at the time the RCMP found him. There was zero chance he would have survived the winter. According to the DNA test, Tucker is 37 percent Staffordshire Terrier, the next dominant breed was Alaskan Malamute, then he’s Rottweiler and Boxer.

“He was great for me at the time because I wasn’t playing, wasn’t practising. All I looked forward to every day was to get back home and go play with the puppy. That guy saved my life when I was in a dark time. I go for walks now. I never go for walks. He’s been great.”


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2. Sean comes from a family of great athletes.

Sean got his instincts for sports from the many inspirations he has in his family. His uncle, Bill Whyte and aunt, Eleanor Whyte were spectacular athletes at UBC. According to Sean, Bill was arguably one of the best rugby fly-half to ever play at UBC. Bill was a two-sport athlete in rugby and baseball. On the rugby pitch, Bill was known for his precise goal kicking and being a ‘sparkling tackler’. On the baseball mound, Bill was known as the top local pitcher who played three seasons of professional baseball, according to UBC Sports Hall of Fame.

Sean’s aunt, Eleanor, was a multi-sports star who specialized in basketball and field hockey at UBC. She was inducted into the Basketball BC Hall of Fame in 2016, in the same class as former NBA star, Steve Nash. Eleanor was a trailblazer in women’s sports as she first appear on national news in the 1940s when she set a record in the Canadian high jump and shortly became a senior high jump champion in 1950. She later shifted her focus to basketball, field hockey and swimming. She received offers to represent Canada in basketball and field hockey, Eleanor ultimately chose to join the Canadian women’s field hockey team at the world championship in Amsterdam.

Another uncle of Sean played soccer for team Canada. That was Art Bennett who suited up on the wing. Sean looked up to him as a kid because Uncle Art had an amazing pace with the ball and could set up his teammates with great passes. But Sean said he was afraid of him growing up because of his demeanour.

“My uncle Art was my grandma’s brother. I heard he was a skinny Irishman with a bad temper. He would fight anyone. He was a madman. He scared the crap of out me but was unreal at everything,” Whyte said.

“Uncle Bill has a son named Ronnie Whyte who my dad says is the best athlete in the family. He will be at the Lions game on the Island (Touchdown Pacific) this year.”

Sean Whyte is more than just a clutch kicker. In our latest 5 Things To Know, we learn about his love of rugby, dog tucker and much more!

Art Bennett in back row, fifth from left. Photo credit: Sean Whyte & Canada Soccer

3. Sean’s parents set the foundation of his work ethic. 

Showing thighs and scoring tries runs in the Whyte family. Since he was little, Sean watched his father and brother taking on the responsibility of goal kicking in rugby. He has aspired to be like English rugby legend, Johnny Wilkinson, knocking down the game-winning kick for his team. Since high school, Sean’s dad has been guiding his technique and routinely has discussions at the dinner table.

“He would always let me do my thing. Later on, at the dinner table, he would talk about the wind or using my natural draw. And jokes about going left foot in case you’re on the right sideline,” Whyte said.

“Even to this day, I live in White Rock, a small town. He’s running around doing errands, I don’t know how he does it. Every time I’m kicking at the same location since high school, surely enough, he’s walking down from the parking lot. He won’t say anything and just stays back and shag balls for me. If I’m not playing the wind properly, he’ll be 50-some yards away moving his hands in the direction of the wind and pointing to where I should aim at.”

Sean said his parents never missed a sporting event. He describes his father as a stern dad, who doesn’t praise Sean that often. The one time he shook Sean’s hand was in 2015 when Sean won the Grey Cup with Edmonton. Sean describes his mother as a loving person, who shows him unconditional love. He said he’s very lucky to have parents that are committed to his football career.

4. Sean & Ranna held their wedding at a Catholic chapel in Mexico.

Sean’s wife Ranna is the manager at Anytime Fitness. While she’s been working non-stop, the couple decided it was time for a trip with the entire family to celebrate all their hard work. Plus, Sean’s parents haven’t been on a trip to Tulum, where they could sit by the beach and enjoy a few cocktails.

They found a way to work with the local resort in planning their big day. According to Sean, there was a small catholic chapel, but it was only meant for Catholics. Sean and Ranna wanted a laid-back wedding, and the resort was able to plan a beautiful wedding ceremony in the last second.

“They did such a beautiful job at this little Catholic church. Then they moved our wedding from a rooftop right by the water to a brand new palapa. I liked it better because it was kind of off the resort. Where we were was hidden right next to the ocean. You feel like you’re in a tropical place,” Whyte said.


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5. Sean is a big F1 & IndyCar fan.

He recently upgraded to the newest version of the Formula 1 game. He’s got the whole setup in front of his TV, and he’s addicted to the game. Sean has been following F1 since 1994 thanks to former British racer, Nigel Mansell.

“I’ve always liked racing. I used to love the Vancouver Indy when it came here like Paul Tracy and all that. I liked IndyCar better than F1 when I was a kid. Now I love F1 again. I just hope they can even out the car so it’s not just Red Bull and Mercedes dominating,” Whyte said.

Sean roots for team McLaren. He believes all the best drivers always go through McLaren first before they sign with teams like Ferrari or Mercedes.

Sean Whyte is more than just a clutch kicker. In our latest 5 Things To Know, we learn about his love of rugby, dog tucker and much more!

Photo credit: Sean Whyte