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REDBLACKS, Rick Campbell agree to part ways

OTTAWA — The Ottawa REDBLACKS announced Monday that Rick Campbell will not return as the club’s head coach next season, following a 3-15 campaign.

“I would like to thank the Ottawa REDBLACKS for the last six seasons in this great city,” said Campbell. “I’d also like to thank Marcel for entrusting me with my first CFL head coaching opportunity. Leaving the REDBLACKS was a difficult decision to come to but, at the end of the day, the future of the organization is bigger than any one person and I believe it is in the best interest of the team for me to move on. I also want to thank the fans; RNation, we couldn’t have accomplished what we have without you.”

Campbell leaves the REDBLACKS as the only head coach in franchise history. While his biggest success was leading the club to its first Grey Cup championship in 40 years, Campbell also coached the REDBLACKS to two other appearances in the championship game, the first coming in just the club’s second year of existence. That success included transforming a 2-16 expansion team in 2014 into Grey Cup finalists the next year through key free agent signings and the emergence of young prospects. The following year, the REDBLACKS would win it all.

“On behalf of the Ottawa REDBLACKS, I want to thank Rick for his dedication since becoming our first-ever Head Coach,” said Desjardins. “Rick’s passion for coaching helped put our team on the CFL map and we will always be thankful for that. We wish Rick all the best in the next step of his career.”

Desjardins and CEO Mark Goudie will address the media in the Telus Media Centre at 11 a.m. on Monday. Campbell will be available to the media following the press conference.

In 2017, both Campbell and general manager Marcel Desjardins were given contract extensions through the 2020 season after winning the Grey Cup the previous fall.

Campbell is the only head coach the REDBLACKS have ever known, hired in 2014 to take over an expansion team that went to the Grey Cup in its second year, ultimately winning the title the following year in a thrilling overtime win over Calgary in 2016.

The son of legendary head coach and general manager Hugh Campbell, exits Ottawa with a record of 44-62-2 with three Grey Cup appearances and a playoff berth in all but two seasons.

The 2019 campaign was a frustrating one for Campbell and his squad, winning just three games and struggling to find an answer at quarterback following the departure of Trevor Harris during free agency last winter.

Prior to taking his first head coaching gig in December 2013, Campbell spent the majority of his career as a defensive and special teams coordinator with Calgary and Edmonton.  While spending 11 seasons as an assistant with the Eskimos, Campbell won a pair of Grey Cups in 2003 and 2005.