Former CFL linebacker DJ Lalama named special teams coordinator at University of Manitoba

Photo courtesy: Scott Grant/

DJ Lalama has stepped away from professional football after being named the special teams coordinator and linebackers coach of the University of Manitoba Bisons.

“I’m honoured and excited to be back on the @UManitoba campus as the @umbisons Special Teams Coordinator and Linebacker Coach!” tweeted Lalama. “Thank you to Coach Dobie, Coach Pierre and the rest of the staff for the opportunity. Time to get to work!”

The 28-year-old signed with the Calgary Stampeders in February but did not report to training camp amid the league’s labour dispute. He indicated via correspondence with 3DownNation that he is effectively retired from the CFL.

“DJ will bring a ton of knowledge to the special teams side and I think he will propel the unit to new heights,” said head coach Brian Dobie in a statement.

Lalama was selected in the eighth round of the 2016 CFL Draft by the Edmonton Elks and played 33 career regular season games as a member of the Montreal Alouettes and Winnipeg Blue Bombers. He recorded 25 career defensive tackles, 19 special teams tackles, and one sack.

The six-foot, 222-pound defender won the Presidents’ Trophy as the top defensive player in U Sports in 2016. He recorded 89 total tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, one sack, three forced fumbles, and seven pass breakups over eight games with the Bisons that season.

In 29 career games at the University of Manitoba, Lalama made 184 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, two sacks, three forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries, and one interception.

The Bisons will open their 2022 season at home against the University of Regina Rams on Friday, Sept. 2 at IG Field.

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