CALGARY — For Marc Mueller, the hardest part about his new job as a Stampeders defensive assistant may be trying to get his Saskatchewan-based family to cheer for him.
Having been born and raised in Regina, along with having Roughriders royalty bloodlines, Mueller knows all too well the rivalry between his new team and his home-province squad.
A long history
“I grew up in the CFL. I was always around the teams my grandfather coached whether it was the Eskimos or Ticats and (football) was always something I wanted to be a part of.”
– Marc Mueller
“It will probably be the toughest on my (paternal) grandmother, she has been a Riders fan for 50 years but hopefully she can get over that,” jokes Mueller, whose hiring by the Stamps was announced on Tuesday.
However, the Regina product is sure he’ll have plenty of support from friends and family when his squad is not playing the Green and White.
A first-year coach in the CFL, Mueller may be young in age, but his history with the game goes as far back as he can remember.
The grandson of CFL quarterback and coaching great Ron Lancaster, the Stamps’ newest addition feels right at home on the football field and on the sidelines.
“I grew up in the CFL,” says Mueller “I was always around the teams my grandfather coached whether it was the Eskimos or Ticats and (football) was always something I wanted to be a part of.”
Not only was his grandfather a legendary figure in the CFL but Mueller’s father Larry and two uncles — Bobby and the late R.D. Lancaster — have all spent time coaching.
“I think it’s very exciting and a great opportunity for me,” says Muelller.
Having just gotten his feet wet in coaching with his alma mater, the University of Regina, the newest Stamps assistant is eager to put his lifetime of football experience to work.
“I think there will be a lot of new things, different things, but my time around the game as a child and university football and coaching at the university level last year with the Regina Rams and even being at the CFL training camp in Edmonton in 2011 has prepared me and I’m looking forward to joining in March and learning as much as I can.”
Before coming to Calgary, Mueller played quarterback for the University of Regina and set numerous team records.
He also signed with the Edmonton Eskimos in 2011, seeing action in the squad’s second pre-season game.Shortly after, he returned to the Rams for his final season as a player before transitioning to the coaching ranks in 2013.
Last season, the Rams boasted the top passing offense in the CIS Canada West conference with Mueller as quarterbacks coach.
After spending much of his football playing career on the offensive side of the ball, the position as an assistant on the defensive side of the ball may seem odd. Not so for Mueller, who believes his offensive experience will be an asset to the Stampeders defensive corps.
“It gives me an offensive perspective to look at defences,” says Mueller who is excited to also work with the Red and White’s coaching team.
“I have great guys to learn from like DeVone (Claybrooks), Tony (Missick) and especially Rich Stubler, who I’ve known from his Edmonton days with my grandpa.
“To be around a guy like (Stubler) who has been one of, if not the premier defensive coordinator in the CFL for almost 30 years, is great.”
For the young coach, the most important thing right now is coming in and getting to work right away as he helps the defence tune up for a thrilling 2014 season, hopefully culminating with a berth in the Grey Cup.