Jeff Reinebold is as well-traveled as almost any coach in the CFL, having worked stints in B.C., Edmonton, Winnipeg, Montreal, and Hamilton. Not many people know that the 63-year-old spent the 1994 season as the special teams coordinator with the Las Vegas Posse.
“Ron Meyer was the head coach and Ron was a great, great guy. He was really a character,” said Reinebold on The Rod Pedersen Show. “I was the youngest coach on the staff at the time and he would call me ‘kid.'”
Reinebold remembers driving Meyer to the Posse’s practice facility in the head coach’s Cadillac. Meyer knew where the team would be practicing, but the situation caught Reinebold completely by surprise.
“We get to the Riviera Hotel and he goes, ‘Pull in, kid.’ I pulled in and I knew Ron loved to shoot craps, so I thought maybe he felt hot and he just wanted to go throw some bones. But we pulled into the back of the Riviera parking lot and he stops the car and he just sits back in his seat and he goes, ‘Look at it, isn’t it beautiful?'”
The team’s practice facility would be built the following day with a construction crew segmenting the parking lot with two-by-eight lumber and filling it with dirt. The soil was then sodded and one set of uprights was erected along with some bleachers.
“If you were gambling in the Riv, you could get a chit for a margarita and a chance to watch us practice. That was our practice facility for training camp in Las Vegas,” said Reinebold.
The Posse are remembered for many reasons, but their on-field performance isn’t one of them. The club went 5-13 in 1994 with an average attendance of 8,953 at Sam Boyd Stadium, which had a capacity of 32,000 at the time.
There were efforts to move the team to Milwaukee or Jackson for the 1995 season, but they proved unsuccessful. The team folded and its best players — receiver Tamarick Vanover, defensive end Shonte Peoples, and quarterback Anthony Calvillo — were forced to find new homes elsewhere.
Meyer loved to gamble and would often take advantage of his close proximity to many top casinos. Reinebold recalls at least one instance when Meyer arrived late for practice because he was on a hot streak.
Meyer, dressed in team gear, was winning big and a crowd had formed around him wanting to see how much more he could win.
“I’m looking at my watch and I’m saying, ‘Coach, stretching starts in three minutes.’ And he looked at me and he said, ‘If they don’t know how to stretch, then we’re really in trouble,'” said Reinebold.
“He played ’til he started to lose, then he said, ‘C’mon, kid, let’s go.’ We drove to the practice field and they were just getting out of stretching. He came onto the field like he’d been there the whole time. Nobody even knew he was there late. It was awesome.”