Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Redblacks' Rick Campbell Looking to Make His Own Mark as a CFL Coach

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Redblacks' Rick Campbell Looking to Make His Own Mark as a CFL Coach

Article excerpt

Campbell looking to make his mark in CFL


OTTAWA - Many of Rick Campbell's childhood memories include the Edmonton Eskimos.

The Ottawa Redblacks head coach was a young boy when he watched his father Hugh -- the Eskimos head coach at the time -- lead Edmonton to five consecutive Grey Cup victories from 1978-'82. Now Campbell is looking to make his own mark as a CFL head coach as he guides the Redblacks to their first Grey Cup appearance.

Perhaps fittingly, the Redblacks will play Edmonton on Sunday in Winnipeg. Campbell, who spent almost a decade on the Eskimos' coaching staff earlier in his career, is doing his best to downplay the connection and instead keep the focus on the big game.

"I'm just really trying to live in the moment and making sure we get our football team ready to play," Campbell said Tuesday before the team departed for Winnipeg. "I obviously do have a history with Edmonton with me working there and my family. I also got used to it as I've played against Edmonton over the years when I worked in different cities."

Campbell made his CFL coaching debut with the Eskimos in 1999 as a defensive backs/special teams co-ordinator. He spent six seasons in the role before being promoted to defensive co-ordinator (2005-'08).

Campbell also worked in various coaching roles with Winnipeg (2009), Calgary (2010), Edmonton (2011) Calgary again (2012-'13), before heading to Ottawa last year for the Redblacks' debut season. When the 44-year-old native of Spokane, Wash., originally interviewed for the Redblacks' coaching position, part of the appeal was his desire to build something from the ground up.

"I wanted to come here to be a part of something new," he said. "It wasn't about me putting my name on the franchise, but it was about all of us putting our name on a new franchise in a new city. I had observed Ottawa from the outside and just had a really strong suspicion this could be a really great thing to be a part of. …

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