VANCOUVER -- The BC Lions have looked within to find their new defensive coordinator, promoting former DB Mark Washington to the post the club announced Thursday.
Washington has spent the last 6 years as the Leos' defensive backs coach after a successful career in BC from 2003 to 2007. He has won two Grey Cups in BC, one as a player and one as a coach.
“Mark is one of our league’s best young coaches and I am very excited to have him accept the position of defensive coordinator,” said head coach Mike Benevides. “He’s a leader, a winner and he’s demonstrated that he is more than ready for this next step in his coaching career.”
The Rutgers graduate fills one of two voids left on the Lions coaching staff. Last week they announced that Rich Stubler was not being retained as defensive coordinator. The week before BC announced that they parted ways with long-time offensive coordinator Jacques Chapdelaine.
A former defensive back who entered the CFL in 1997 with the Montreal Alouettes, Washington spent six seasons with the Als including the 2002 Grey Cup Championship season. After signing as a free agent with the Lions in 2003, Mark became a key component of the Lions secondary over the next five seasons, culminating in the club’s 2006 championship run.
“I am grateful for the opportunity Mike has given me and I look forward to the challenge of helping us win a championship,” said Washington. “We have a lot of talented players on this side of the ball and I expect great things from them in 2014.”
A natural locker room leader and familiar face in Lions community programs, Mark was recognized for his inspirational play by the Lions in 2003 with the Fred Dietrich Award, followed by the CFLPA’s Tom Pate Award in 2006 for outstanding sportsmanship in addition to significant contributions to his team and community.
More to come...