Q+A: Rick Campbell named head coach of BC Lions
VANCOUVER -- Changes are coming to the BC Lions after Rick Campbell was named the club's next head coach on Monday.
Previously coach of the Ottawa Redblacks, Campbell helped turn the team into a Grey Cup champion, something the Lions are hoping he can do here in Vancouver.
"It's been a whirlwind these last couple days but man it's been awesome," Campbell said on CTV Morning Live. "I'm really looking forward to it."
Rick Campbell sat down with CTV Morning Live Tuesday. Below is part of a six-minute interview, which has been edited for length and clarity.
Jason Pires: DeVone Claybrooks, the outgoing coach, some critics said he was this big personality, maybe too chummy with the players. What is your coaching style?
I'm a big believer in holding people accountable but also empowering them. I know there's a really good group of players here that can be good leaders and I think you really want to harness that and let those players lead and work as a unit.
CFL is a league where you can really turn things around quickly and I think there's a good core group of players here to build on. I think we just want to build a really good coaching staff and then add a couple pieces to the puzzle in the off season through the draft or through free agency and then get this thing going in the direction we want it to go.
Keri Adams: When the opening came up is this the job you wanted right away?
When I left Ottawa I didn't know what was going to happen. I knew I wanted to stay in football. It was kind of one of those leap of faith things in life where you don't know what's going to happen and whether I'd have to sit out a year.
But when this opportunity presented itself, it was like a home run for me. I know Ed Hervey the GM really well and I have a great amount of respect for him and Rick LeLacheur, the president of the team I know him, they've got Mike Reilly and a really good core group of players.
The bonus for me, this isn't the reason I did it, but it's a bonus for me, is I'm originally from the West Coast and so coming back to the Pacific time zone is kind of a homecoming for me.
Marke Driesschen: You were in Ottawa from day one, for the franchise with the Ottawa Redblacks, you built that up, you got a Grey Cup in that time as well. How do you translate that success here in B.C.?
All things are a people business and football especially. The players, the coaches, the people that work in the office, the fans and I've been in this league long enough, I've been in BC Place several times on the opposing sideline. When the Lions were doing really well and the crowd's loud and all that stuff. I just remember several moments like that and I know we can recreate that again.
Obviously my job as the coach is to focus on the field and make that happen and winning cures a lot of things but I'm with you. Sports these days … people have a lot of choices for what they can do in their free time. I want to move here and be a part of the community. This is our football team and try to get it back to where it belongs.
Driesschen: As far as the pieces you have on the field, you know this team can be explosive. So how do you unlock that?
There's a lot of things to be hopeful for. If you add a couple pieces to the puzzle you can turn the corner quickly and I know this team last year lost a couple of close games they probably should have won. And when you win those close games, all of a sudden the record gets better and the confidence builds and then good things can happen. So we're just going to work really hard this off-season and try to surround ourselves with as many talented and quality people that we can find.
Ronil Desai: You saw Claybrooks go out in one year with this new position that you're holding. Do you see this as sort of a long-term plan for you here in B.C.?
That would be my choice. I'm not a guy that hops around from team to team. I want to be a part of a community, that's just the way I'm wired as a person, I want to be a part of where I live. I was riding in on the SkyTrain this morning so I got a taste of the Vancouver commute.
But pro sports is a tough business. CFL or NHL or whatever it is, it's a results-oriented business and the thing I found is that you just try to do the best you can each day and try to stack the odds in your favour of having success and do the best you can and go from there.
Pires: Your life is football. Do you have any other passions? Obviously you're excited to bring your family here. Tell us a bit about life outside of football.
I'm definitely an outdoors guy so I'll be getting the skis out for sure so I'm looking forward to that. I'm into the woods and the lakes and that stuff and the mountains so this is definitely built for me.