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Rick Campbell steps aside as Ottawa Redblacks coach

Add finding a new head coach on what could be an extensive off-season shopping list for the Ottawa Redblacks.

Three days after the Ottawa Redblacks wrapped up a horrible 3-15 season, Postmedia has confirmed coach Rick Campbell will announce he’s stepping aside at a Monday morning press conference.

Campbell, who had one year remaining on his contract, was the Redblacks coach from Day One – from 2014 right through this season.

On December 6, 2013, Campbell walked to a microphone in front of a large gathering of reporters at the City of Ottawa archives building on Tallwood Drive in Nepean. “Bonjour tout le monde,” were the first words he spoke after being introduced. At the time, the team had only five players under contract.

Campbell, who turns 49 Dec. 20, led the Redblacks to the Grey Cup in just their second season. The following year, in 2016, the Redbacks won the Grey Cup, beating the Calgary Stampeders 39-33 in overtime – the first CFL championship for an Ottawa team since 1976.

Campbell began his coaching career in 1996 at the University of Oregon where he served as a graduate assistant with the Ducks’ coaching staff, helping with the defensive secondary and special teams.

He made his CFL debut in 1999 with the Edmonton Eskimos as defensive secondary and special teams co-ordinator, spending the next six seasons in that role before being promoted to defensive coordinator from 2005-2008. He moved to Winnipeg in 2009 as defensive backs and special team co-ordinator with the Blue Bombers before returning to Alberta to coach the running backs with the Stampeders in 2010. In 2011, Campbell became assistant head coach and special teams co-ordinator with the Eskimos before taking on the defensive co-ordinator title back in Calgary in 2012, where he spent two seasons before moving to Ottawa.

Campbell, who’s from the state of Washington, became a Canadian citizen on July 1, 2012.

Before the first season, Campbell told Postmedia: “Football is naturally a rollercoaster ride. When you win, you’re on top of the world, when you lose, it’s tough, it makes for long weeks. You need to make sure you don’t accentuate that. Maybe we’re a bit naive in a good way. The thing that’s unique about sports is your performance is sitting on the scoreboard. You can see the results right there. I feel responsibility to do this right for Ottawa.”


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