Veteran CFL defensive lineman Alex Bazzie signs on to high school coaching staff

Photo courtesy: Scott Grant/

Former West Division All-Star Alex Bazzie may not be able to rush the passer this season because of COVID-19, but he’s not sitting on his hands either.

The CFL veteran took to Twitter to announce he’s been tapped to join the staff of Walter Johnson High School in Bethesda, Maryland.

A Maryland product himself, Bazzie will have plenty to do close to home. The Wildcats had a reputation as one of the states doormats before head coach Larry Hurd Jr. began a slow turnaround a few years ago. That can only be aided by the addition of a professional calibre defensive mind.

After going unselected out of Marshall University in the 2014 NFL Draft, Bazzie joined the B.C. Lions and made his presence felt immediately with a 10-sack rookie season. After 11 sacks and a West Division All-Star selection in 2016, Bazzie caught the eye of NFL scouts. The Lions released him early to sign with the Indianapolis Colts, but a never-ending cycle of off-season roster moves saw Bazzie waived, signed by the Carolina Panthers, waived, signed by the Arizona Cardinals, and waived again with final roster cuts.

Bazzie rejoined the Lions for the final six games of 2017, but he spent the past two seasons with the Edmonton Football Team. The 30-year old struggled to stay on the field in 2019 and signed with Toronto in free agency, though his debut season with the boatmen was cancelled by the coronavirus. Through 81 career CFL games, Bazzie has recorded 143 tackles and 42 sacks.

The classic tweener has an arsenal of pass rush moves to pass on the next generation and Bazzie isn’t the first CFLer to find pandemic employment in the high school ranks. Former Edmonton teammate Greg Ellingson has teamed up with current Tiger-Cat DB Frankie Williams to coach in Florida, while B.C. Lions coach Beau Walker quit his position with the club to work in the Arizona school system.