Lions’ head coach Rick Campbell ‘definitely surprised’ by Ed Hervey departure

Screenshot courtesy: B.C. Lions

B.C. Lions’ head coach Rick Campbell was not expecting Ed Hervey to leave his post as general manager.

Hervey informed the Lions that he was stepping down from his position for personal reasons on Friday, October 16.

“Definitely surprised. I talked to Ed on Friday, it was a decision he made. It was totally surprising — just adjusting after learning the news. I’m processing as it goes,” Campbell said on Sportsnet 650 radio in Vancouver.

“I’m not going to get into Ed’s personal business, but I’ve known Ed a long time, and I consider him a friend, and he assured me that he will be OK. That’s all I can say about it.”

Prior to the 2019 CFL season, Hervey signed a two-year contract extension that was slated to run out at the end of the 2020 campaign. However, a year was added following last season. Of course, the league cancelled its schedule due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’re definitely OK for right now, and then we’ll explore all options about the best thing moving forward. We’re going to take our time and explore it. We’re still out hunting looking for players, we won’t be on pause that way,” Campbell said.

Campbell was hired by Hervey as the Lions’ bench boss last December. Campbell decided to leave the Ottawa Redblacks with one season — 2020 — remaining on his contract in early November. The Lions relieved DeVone Claybrooks of his head coaching duties just days later.

“I’m in on this B.C. thing. I moved across the country and I’m living here full-time,” Campbell said.

B.C. went 5-13 and finished last in the West Division last season. Campbell believes personnel executives Neil McEvoy, Geroy Simon, Torey Hunter, Rob Ralph and Uzooma Okeke can help the Lions work through the period of time until a new GM is hired.

“We have a lot of knowledge kicking around in this building as far as how the league operates, what you need to do and what needs to get done,” Campbell said.

“Regardless of what’s going on, scouting departments are always looking for players. Taking care of that business, that’s a year-round thing regardless if the season is going on or not.”