Jeff Reinebold out as Ticats DC, future with the club unclear

With the team at 0-6 and giving up a CFL-worst 39 points a game, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats have made a change at defensive co-ordinator.

Sources say the 59-year-old Jeff Reinebold, known publicly for his colourful personality and ALL CAPS approach to social media, has been offered another position within the organization – likely helping newly-hired assistant head coach June Jones.

As of Monday night, the move had yet to be officially announced by the club but Reinebold confirmed his departure via a series of Tweets on Monday afternoon.


Team CEO Scott Mitchell Tweeted later Monday that the team was holding out hope that Reinebold would stay with the club in some capacity.

“Jeff is an outstanding coach and a terrific person. We are hoping he will stay with the organization. More to come we hope,” he wrote.

But an Instragram post from Reinebold Monday night indicates he’s headed back to Hawaii, where he spends part of the off-season.

Reinebold will be replaced by linebackers coach Phillip Lolley, who joined the Ticats this season after spending three years in Edmonton and Saskatchewan with Chris Jones (the two won a title together with the Esks in 2015.) Before coming to the CFL, the 63-year-old Alabama native spent more than a decade with the Auburn Tigers of the NCAA as both a defensive coach and front office staff member and was part of the 2011 national championship squad.

Sources said Lolley was a candidate for the defensive co-ordinator position in the off-season after the departure of Orlondo Steinauer but the job went to Reinebold, who had been with vice president of football operations and head coach Kent Austin since he arrived in Hamilton before the 2013 season.

Reinebold spent four largely successful seasons as the special teams co-ordinator, cooking up an array of blocks, rules-oriented gadget plays and helping facilitate the success of return man Brandon Banks, who was twice named the East Division’s Most Outstanding Special Teams player.

But the defence had struggled mightily under Reinebold’s direction. They are last in the CFL in points allowed (39.0 per game), net offence allowed (460 yards) and yards per play (7.5) and have given up 30 points or more in every game this season. The team is winless and coming off a two-game West Division road trip that included a 60-1 loss at the hands of the Calgary Stampeders.

While Reinebold certainly deserves a significant share of the blame for his unit’s performance, there are other factors as well. Defensive halfbacks Abdul Kanneh and Emanuel Davis, both all-stars last year, have missed most of the season, with Kanneh playing two quarters of football before suffering yet another injury. Other defensive stalwarts, including linebacker Simoni Lawrence and defensive end John Chick, have seen their production drop significantly so far in 2017.

Reinebold served as a receivers coach under Jones at the American college level so he could play a role in helping with his transition into the Ticats culture. But Reinebold also has opportunities outside of coaching: for the last several seasons, he has served as NFL analyst and podcaster for SKY Sports in the United Kingdom and the television network has asked him to expand his role in the past.

Drew Edwards

Drew Edwards

Drew Edwards is into his eighth season covering the CFL and the Ticats for the Hamilton Spectator. He is the founder and editor of 3DownNation.
Drew Edwards
Drew Edwards
About Drew Edwards (1358 Articles)
Drew Edwards is into his eighth season covering the CFL and the Ticats for the Hamilton Spectator. He is the founder and editor of 3DownNation.

19 Comments on Jeff Reinebold out as Ticats DC, future with the club unclear

  1. Would hate to see him leave but he is a football nomad! So if the defence improves and the Ticats still lose with their lousy offence, will KA fire himself as offence coordinator and HC? His only choice left if the team counties to underperform!

  2. Sorry to see Jeff go. He was a very good special teams coach. Sometimes you should stay where your best at I guess.
    Good Luck Jeff!

  3. You are not necessarily that bad when you are 0-6, nor are you that good when you are 6-0. Another part of this should lie with those who have not brought in effective/talented offensive linemen and defensive backs as injury replacements. That is where the route of most of the problems are!! Coaches are hired to be fired as the saying goes, so, hope he sticks around as he is an interesting gentleman to converse with.

  4. Hope that he stays. His input and knowledge would be very useful as the team tries to turn the corner.

  5. IMAN ICE HORSIE // August 7, 2017 at 10:19 pm //

    I think his surf board is calling him

  6. I guess the defence didn’t score enough points. Musical chairs in the defensive backfield, being on the field 70% of the game. I’d like to see him stay as well. This is on Austin.

    • how is it on Austin? Explain? I think he is a victim of circumstance. Injuries in key positions including Lawrence who has a nagging groin and has slowed him down.I’m sure he hasn’t been able to operate the defense the way he wants with all the rookies in the backfield.

      • Rob Sorenson // August 7, 2017 at 11:17 pm //

        Sure, I will take a shot. It is on Austin if it is true that Condell and Steinhauer left because of him. Collaros has gone backwards as a player since. Who hired Reinbold and Ptaszak anyway?

        Condell left, who has been coaching Collaros since? We all watch the games, does Austin look like a likable guy? I won’t be surprised if June Jones is Bob Young’s next HC. Right now our O sucks worse than the D even if Austin is blaming Reinbold.

  7. So pissed about this firing. Austin should look in the mirror first. Condell leaves and the offense suffers. Orlando leaves and the D is terrible. Reinebold goes to D and special teams suffer. This is all on the head coach and GM for not keeping people and putting them in positions to be successful.

  8. So let me get this straight. Reinbold (who wouldnt have been my choice as DC….high risk or high reward type of coach) is let go/relegated because of course our defence leaves a lot to be desired, but Austin who has the reigns of an offence (Ptaszek does not have control) that is pathetic, gets to bring someone in to help because he’s way over his head and he cant do it. Oh that is because he also runs the team’s operations and has a contract (with a huge dollar figure…unlike previous HC’s or HC/GM’s of the past with significantly less dollar valued contracts and control) that doesnt allow the team to fire him. The team re-upped his contract for another further two years, so they dont want to admit such a huge mistake. But wait, Tillman handles the GM task and brings forth suggestions/advice to Austin for him to give authorization. So Austin gets coaching help, gets management help, so what is the value for whatever he does? But rest assured, he is valuable.
    Austin hires Lolley who is less qualified than Reinbold to take over the DC, instead of maybe giving it to Mcphee (or maybe Mcphee was offered and he is smart not to take it) or someone more qualified outside the organization. Reinbold for Lolley sounds like a change for change sake. There will be no better defensive system coming soon with Lolley folks. You wonder (and it is not the first time for me) if anyone of significance wants to coach or be a part of this team under this leadership unless your a buddy (Jones, McKnight, Tillman etc). With Jones, i doubt he comes here if he doesnt get ‘something else’ in the near future. Austin is worse at running his own offence than Condell was in running Austin’s offence. Condell was a keeper and made Austin look good but you gotta love those ‘family reasons’ departures. Condell brought different offensive attacks and schemes depending on the team they played, while Austin’s offence is the same week to week without much addition or creativity on an ongoing basis. Austin could have made both Condell and Steinhauer Assistant Head Coaches and Condell would still be here, and at a cost less than having to bring in June Jones. This team is in disarray but make sure you listen to the organization and follow along. If we dont win many games this year (it can only be 12 or less now) it will just be written off as a one off by the organization. Major changes to the leadership of this organization should have been made months ago. You can just watch a practice to find out the lack of enthusiasm or tempo, and how it translates into the upcoming game. See you Saturday. I feel a win coming……but i dont know when.

  9. Get rid of Kent Austin. This is embarrassing. I’m tired of being the league joke. Next.

  10. Cfl know it all // August 8, 2017 at 3:20 am //

    Wise decision

    ~so no one else says

  11. Rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. It’s a start as the defence is a mess but much more is needed. This should have been dealt with properly in the off season. This mess is all Austins doing. This is the team and staff he has built.

  12. Agree conky.. but can he fix it?

  13. RalphInTheCreek // August 8, 2017 at 8:33 am //

    JR is a very popular person in the Hammer, fans hope he stays.

  14. Too bad he left the special teams position. He had tried defensive coordinator under Marc Trestman once before, but with Reinebolt I thought Hamilton had a particularly dangerous special teams unit.

  15. After rewatching the game. Edmonton totally dominated the time of possession. The Ticat offence had far fewer opportunities to scrimmage the ball. The Eskies had over 30 FIRST DOWNS!
    How are you supposed to mount an offence when you can’t get the other teams offence off the field. Ridiculous.
    The Ticats had to make a change.
    There are problems with Ticat offence such as OT and the lack of a larger possession type receiver such as Fantuz but still they had a chance to win but blew it because of the defence.
    The defence is the worst in the league and change in direction was needed.

  16. Mosca Wee Wee // August 8, 2017 at 11:33 am //

    It’s a real shame. He was a great and creative special team coach. One of the main reasons the team has had such success over the last few years. He just didn’t seem to bring the D unit together. I was right behind the bench at the last game here in Edmonton and there always seemed to be confusion with the unit, and they just never looked hopeful. Despite all of that they made some really good plays in the last quarter to get the ball back, so there is something there to expand on.

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