It seems like much longer than nine months since he was officially introduced as the 27th head coach in BC Lions history. But in Rick Campbell, the organization has a guy who knows how to win and has always commanded the respect of each and every guy in his locker room.
The Campbell name is also one that has been synonymous with the CFL for many years. But even as the son of one of the best coaches this league has ever had, Campbell has made his own name in the business. And with that, we present 5 Things To Know, featuring our new sideline boss!
Second Generation Winner
For some of our younger fans that may not have the same grasp of CFL history, Rick is indeed the son of Hugh Campbell; best known for leading Edmonton to five straight Grey Cup wins as head coach from 1978-82. He parlayed that success into a stint head coaching stints down south with the USFL Los Angeles Express in 1983 followed by two seasons with the NFL’s Houston Oilers. Prior to his hall of fame coaching career, Hugh played five seasons as a receiver for the Saskatchewan Roughriders (1963-67).
Rick Originally Planned On Being A Teacher
You would think having a front-row seat to his Dad’s accomplishments made it a natural progression for the younger Campbell to get into coaching. But the reality is, he initially had no intention of following in Hugh’s footsteps. The younger Campbell enrolled at Washington State University and completed his degree in education.
“I actually taught high school and coached football in Spokane for a couple of years before I moved on to the University of Oregon and after that, I kind of got suckered into it and I liked it. I seemed to be pretty good at it so I just stuck with it,” Campbell told bclions.com on the day he was hired last December.
It turns out teaching was only a temporary career.
Another Mentor Brings Him To Oregon
Campbell began his pro coaching bath as a graduate assistant with the Oregon Ducks from 1996-98. It was another coaching legend that brought him there; none other than Rich Stubler who served as defensive coordinator of the Ducks in between stints in the CFL. Stubler had the same title with Edmonton in the early 90s when Hugh moved up to general manager.
The football world truly is a small one. And not to long after making that move, Rick would discover he was indeed meant to teach on the football field and not the classroom.
He Has Collected Some Hardware
Campbell made the CFL jump in 1999 as special teams coordinator with Edmonton and remained there in various roles for the next ten seasons returned as defensive coordinator and assistant head coach in 2011. He won Grey Cup rings with the Edmonton Football Club in 2003 and 2005.
After coaching stints with the Blue Bombers (special teams/defensive backs) and Stampeders (defensive coordinator), Rick was hired as the first head coach in Ottawa REDBLACKS history in 2014 and helped engineer won of the greatest expansion team stories in pro sports history. They would sip from the Grey Cup in just their third season of existence and one year before that, Campbell won the Annis Stukus Trophy as CFL Coach of the Year. Now he aims to add to those collections with the Lions.
Rick Has Found A Hobby In His New Town
Up until the cancellation of 2020 and now that he can focus on getting back to the field next May, it has been football first for Rick since he moved back to the west coast. But that still doesn’t mean he hasn’t been able to discover all that is great about Vancouver living. One of those activities: the Grouse Grind, which he has done a few times. Rick and his wife Brianna have also enjoyed checking out some of the local breweries. He’s a football guy through and through, but while the weather is still good you will likely catch him outdoors once the workday is finally over.