TAMPA — Ron Licht, the father of Bucs general manager Jason Licht, died unexpectedly Saturday in Nebraska. He was 80.
Jason Licht left the team Saturday in Los Angeles to be with his family upon learning of his father’s death.
Mr. Licht was the oldest of five children but had to work with his father on the family farm. Because of that, he wasn’t able to participate in sports, Jason Licht said.
"He means the world to me,'' Jason Licht said of his dad just before Father’s Day. "He’s been there through think and thin. He’s my best friend. He’s battled his own adversity. He’s shown me first hand how to fight through it. He’s a great husband, father ... everything rolled into one.''
Mr. Licht was born in Kansas but his family moved to Nebraska when he was young. He is survived by two brothers and two sisters.
The oldest of five children, Mr, Licht worked for his dad on a farm to help support the family.
"He always talked about how he wanted to play sports but he couldn’t,'' Jason Licht said. "He had to help his dad support a family. His other brothers were able to play sports but he wasn’t.''
As a result, he was the biggest fan at all his kid’s games.
"He never missed a game in high school or junior high,'' Jason Licht said. "I knew where he was sitting at all times. He wasn’t the loud cheering or talking to the coaches complaining about his son should be doing this or doing that. He was just always there whether we won or lost, whether we had a good game, bad game, football, basketball, baseball, track. He was always there to support me.
"I don’t want to say he was living a little bit of his life through me because he wasn’t able to play sports, but he got just pure enjoyment from any practice or any game he was at. Next to his faith and his family, it gave him the most joy.''