OTTAWA -- The University of Ottawa is mourning the death of Gee-Gees football player Francis Perron, who died shortly after the Gee-Gees first game of the season.

In a statement posted on the Gee-Gees website, uOttawa President Jacques Fremont said Perron died shortly after Saturday's game between the Gee-Gees and the University of Toronto in Toronto.

Perron, 25, was a Mechanical Engineering student at the University of Ottawa, and a defensive lineman in his fifth season with the Gee-Gees football team.

Perron is from Sherbrooke, Que., and joined the Gee-Gees in 2017.

"A bright, passionate, and caring person, Francis poured himself into his craft as a player and his academic pursuit of becoming an engineer. In the classroom, he was as big of a star as on the field, becoming a multiple-time U Sports Academic All-Canadian while studying Mechanical Engineering," said Fremont in a statement on Sunday.

"Francis' memory will live on through a vast network of loving family, friends, and all those whose lives he touched."

Perron played in the Gee-Gees 11-10 loss at Toronto on Saturday.

In a statement on Twitter, Gee-Gees head coach Marcel Bellefeuille said, “Our hearts are broken.”

“Losing Francis, we’ve lost an outstanding person, teammate, and veteran leader that made us better in every way possible. He was someone that loved and was loved, by everyone that is part of our program.”

Freemont offered condolences on behalf of the University of Ottawa to Perron's family, friends and loved ones.

"The thoughts of all members of our community are with you. I would also like to thank our colleagues at the University of Toronto for their steadfast support during this tragic event," said Fremont. 

"I know how deeply this loss affects the student's teammates, Gee-Gees staff and all members of the Gee-Gees community, as well as members of the Faculty of Engineering. Let me just say to you: Our thoughts are with you in your grief, which we share. Rest assured you have our compassion, solidarity and support. We have mobilized our support services and you can count on ongoing assistance over the coming days and weeks."

The Gee-Gees next game is scheduled for Saturday at Queen's University.