A legendary CFL figure has found a new home on Burnaby Mountain.
On Friday, word leaked that long-time B.C. Lions offensive line coach Dan Dorazio would be joining the coaching staff at Simon Fraser University, Canada’s only NCAA football program.
“Very excited to hear that SFU Football has landed one of the best O-line coaches in all of football, Dan Dorazio,” proud alumnus and TSN reporter Farhan Lalji tweeted. “While other programs are cutting during the pandemic, my alma mater just got better!”
Former B.C. Lions centre Angus Reid, who published a book about his time under Dorazio, echoed that sentiment.
“SFU Football just got 100000% better. Coach Dan is THE BEST there is,” Reid wrote. “I can’t wait to be of whatever service I can be to my mentor up on the Hill as he molds and maximizes those young athletes abilities. Big time news.”
Dorazio last coached professionally for the Toronto Argonauts in 2019 but is best-known for his role as the B.C. Lions’ offensive line coach from 2003 to 2014 and again from 2016 to 2018. That tenure was interrupted by a one-year stint with the Saskatchewan Roughriders in 2015.
Since beginning his career with the Calgary Stampeders in 1998, Dorazio has won four Grey Cups and produced four Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman award winners. Prior to the CFL, Dorazio spent 26 years coaching in the NCAA.
Dorazio was originally enlisted to help coach the cross-town University of British Columbia Thunderbirds and video surfaced of him coaching at the team’s spring camp in March. It seems the cancellation of the Canada West season due to the COVID-19 pandemic has changed those plans and he’ll be part of the continued revival of football at Simon Fraser.
While the NCAA Division II program also had its season cancelled due to COVID-19, they have not been sitting on their hands. In March, rising coaching star Thomas Ford stepped down as head coach to take a dream position with the University of Washington Huskies. Special teams coordinator Mike Rigell has taken the interim position and hasn’t been shy about assembling his staff even without a season to coach.
On Thursday, the team announced the hiring of former CFL player and NFL Europe defensive coordinator Jerome Erdman as a linebackers coach and special teams coordinator. Now, Dorazio has entered the fold. It comes as part of a complete rebrand for the university team, as they retire the “Clan” nickname amid months of protest from student-athletes.
The team hopes that Dan Dorazio will offer another important rebrand along the offensive line.