B.C. Lions sign Rick Campbell, Neil McEvoy to contract extensions through 2024

Photo courtesy: B.C. Lions

The B.C. Lions signed co-general manager and head coach Rick Campbell and co-general manager and director of football operations Neil McEvoy to contract extensions through the 2024 CFL season on Wednesday.

“If you look at the most successful organizations in pro sports, it all starts with stability and continuity at the top,” said Lions’ COO and incoming president Duane Vienneau in a statement.

“Rick and Neil are as good a tandem as there is in this league and we are thrilled to have them keep our ship moving in the right direction for our players, partners and great fans across the province of British Columbia.”

Named the club’s 27th head coach in December 2019, Campbell added the co-GM title prior to his first season on the Lions’ sideline. The native of Spokane, Washington helped lead the Lions to a big turnaround in 2022, finishing with a 12-6 record and second-place finish in the West Division before the squad advanced to its first division final since 2016.

“From the moment I arrived here three years ago, I knew I had found my new home with a great organization on and off the field,” Campbell said.

“I thank Mr. Doman, Duane Vienneau and Rick LeLacheur for believing in our philosophy of building toward continuity. With our entire coaching staff also locked up, we have accomplished that in a big way.”

Campbell previously served as the first head coach of the Ottawa Redblacks (2014-2019) and turned the expansion club into a contender by his second year with the team, capturing the East Division crown in 2015 before pulling off one of the biggest Grey Cup upsets ever the following season as Ottawa took down the heavily-favoured Calgary Stampeders in 2016.

It was the third Grey Cup ring for Campbell after winning as an assistant with Edmonton in both 2003 and 2005. After breaking into the coaching ranks as a graduate assistant (1996-1998), Campbell also held coordinator positions with Edmonton (1999-2008), Winnipeg (2009), and Calgary (2010-2013).

Entering his 28th season with the organization, McEvoy added co-general manager duties in 2021 and has played a role in many of the essential day-to-day football operations duties during his tenure with the club from contract negotiations, Canadian scouting, training camp preparation, and team travel.

“I’ve had the pleasure of working with and under many great individuals in my time with this franchise and am honoured to continue building toward a Grey Cup championship with Rick and our entire staff,” McEvoy said.

“I am very grateful Mr. Doman, Duane Vienneau and Rick LeLacheur for allowing us the opportunity to keep getting better every day.”

The Surrey, B.C. native began in the Lions’ ticket sales department in 1995 and also worked in media relations before being recruited to the player development side in the late 1990s. The three-time Grey Cup champion will continue working with Campbell on building the roster for this season and beyond.