Official: Lions hire DeVone Claybrooks as head coach

DeVone Claybrooks has been named the new head coach of the B.C. Lions.

3DowNation insider Justin Dunk first reported the two sides had agreed to terms on a three-year contract. Also, Dunk has stated Rich Stubler will be Claybrooks’ defensive coordinator in B.C.

The former Calgary Stampeders defensive co-ordinator replaces Wally Buono, who retired at the end of the season following 46 years in the CFL.

Claybrooks spent seven years on the Stamps’ coaching staff, including four as the defensive line coach, and won a Grey Cup with the team last month. Calgary’s defence allowed the fewest points in the league over his three seasons as defensive co-ordinator.

The 41-year-old native of Martinsville, Va., also spent 11 years playing defensive tackle in the NFL, CFL and in Europe.

“After meeting with (Lions general manager Ed Hervey) for a long period of time over the past number of days, I am beyond excited at the chance to lead a B.C. Lions coaching staff with the number one priority of winning a Grey Cup championship,” Claybrooks said in a statement.

“I am also tremendously thankful to both (GM) John Hufnagel and (head coach) Dave Dickenson of the Calgary Stampeders who gave me a chance to coach soon after my playing days ended. Their faith in my ability has led me to where I am today.”

Claybrooks suffered a major health scare earlier this year when he was rushed to hospital and later diagnosed with diabetes.

He reportedly also interviewed with Toronto for their open head coach position, which the Argonauts filled by hiring Corey Chamblin on Monday.

“DeVone has been on the coaching radar of many teams for the past number of years and I believe he is the very best candidate to lead our team,” Hervey said in a statement. “After hours of meetings and discussions I know he is the perfect coach to usher in what is going to be a new era of success here in British Columbia.”

-CP

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