Lots of love from players for departing Redblacks coach Rick Campbell
While Rick Campbell delivered the stunning news to a few players he ran into while walking home from TD Place Sunday, most of the Ottawa Redblacks were caught off guard early Monday when news broke that he was leaving his job as the team’s head coach.
“It was a bit of surprise,” said Redblacks receiver Brad Sinopoli, who last week agreed to a two-year contract extension to remain in Ottawa. “I’m with everyone else. Waking up, I didn’t expect that. I woke up to some Twitter notifications, some people texting me.
“I have nothing but love and respect for Coach Campbell. I’ve known him since I’ve been in the CFL. I’ve always had a great relationship with him, he’s been an amazing coach and a fantastic person to be around. I feel grateful I’ve been able to spend that much time with someone like him.”
Several current players and ex-Redblacks tweeted out their support of the coach.
“He’s a really down down-to-earth, humble dude,” said Redblacks linebacker Kevin Brown, who found out the news on Twitter. “He was always accountable and held us accountable. It’s tough because he’s one of the best coaches I’ve played for, I let him know that. You hate to see a guy like that go — he’s such an easy guy to play for, somebody you want to go out and play for. It’s the nature of the business and I’m wishing the best for him wherever he ends up.”
Through 2019’s horrible season for the Redblacks —they were last in the CFL with a 3-15 record —as deflating that may have been, Campbell always stuck up for his players and stayed calm in the face of adversity.
“The thing I’ve always said about (Campbell), the thing I liked the most, is he’s the most consistent person I’ve ever been around,” said Sinopoli. “Through the ups and downs of the Grey Cup wins and losses and going through this season was a tough thing for him and for all of us — he was the same person through it all. As a player, you can’t ask for much more. You come in every day, you know what you’re going to get. When you’re in tough moments, you know what you’re going to get from him.”
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