The B.C. Lions have finalized their football operations and coaching staff for the 2021 season.
The Lions will employ co-general managers with head coach Rick Campbell and Neil McEvoy carrying out those duties.
Campbell was named bench boss of the Lions on December 2, 2019 after six seasons with Ottawa where he won a Grey Cup in 2016 and took home the Annis Stukus Trophy as CFL Coach of the Year in 2015.
Prior to joining the Redblacks, Campbell spent 15 seasons as a CFL assistant split between Edmonton, Winnipeg and Calgary. He earned his first two Grey Cup rings with Edmonton in 2003 and 2005.
He will work closely with McEvoy in the areas of player evaluation, contracts and logistics as the Lions prepare for a safe return to action in 2021.
“My first year in British Columbia may not have involved any games, but it’s been great to be in town working with football ops and our business staff,” Campbell said.
“We have very passionate people here. As far as our roster goes, we have some great pieces in place and these next few months will be key as we look to add more key guys that will help us contend in 2021 and beyond.”
For McEvoy, 2021 marks his 26th year with the organization after first starting in ticket sales, moving on to media relations and then making a seamless transition into football operations prior to the 2000 season. He has been the club’s director of football operations since the 2014 season
“This is a dream job for me. I have been fortunate to learn from some of the best in the business from Adam Rita, Bobby Ackles and Wally Buono,” McEvoy, who has won three Grey Cup rings with the Lions, said.
“More recently, coach Campbell and I have spent a lot of time during this crazy year planning and building for a run at the Grey Cup in 2021 and I’m honoured for the chance to continue doing that for this organization.”
Campbell and McEvoy decided eight members of the Lions’ coaching staff hired in 2020 will return next season.
The Lions 2021 coaching staff:
Rick Campbell — co-general manager/head coach/defensive coordinator
Jordan Maksymic — offensive coordinator
Don Yanowsky — special teams coordinator
Kelly Bates — offensive line coach
Jason Tucker — receivers coach
Danny O’Brien — running backs coach
Leroy Blugh — defensive line coach
Ryan Phillips — defensive backs coach
Travis Brown — linebackers coach
Following last month’s appointment of Ryan Rigmaiden as director of U.S. scouting, the Lions have brought back both Rob Ralph as director of Canadian scouting in charge of the CFL Draft and Geroy Simon as director of Global scouting and U.S. regional scout in charge of evaluating the top international prospects for the Global Draft while working closely with Rigmaiden on recruiting prospects south of the border.