B.C. Lions general manager Ed Hervey, left, introduces Rick Campbell during a news conference at the team’s training facility in Surrey, B.C., Monday, Dec. 2, 2019. Campbell and football-operations director Neil McEvoy will be taking over as co-GM’s from Hervey, who stepped down from the post in October. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

B.C. Lions general manager Ed Hervey, left, introduces Rick Campbell during a news conference at the team’s training facility in Surrey, B.C., Monday, Dec. 2, 2019. Campbell and football-operations director Neil McEvoy will be taking over as co-GM’s from Hervey, who stepped down from the post in October. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

B.C. Lions name coach Rick Campbell, football operations director Neil McEvoy co-GMs

Pair take over from Ed Hervey, who stepped down in October

Rick Campbell’s list of job duties grew once again on Monday as the B.C. Lions named the head coach and defensive coordinator a co-general manager.

Campbell will share the role with the club’s longtime football operations director Neil McEvoy.

It’s a split that Campbell believes will work well.

“I’ve always found on a football team that when the personnel department and the coaches are really working hand in hand, that’s a good thing,” he said on a video call. “And that’s going to naturally happen with the way we’re set up.”

The duo take over from Ed Hervey, who stepped down from the post for “personal reasons” in October.

The Lions missed the playoffs last year and responded by dismissing rookie head coach DeVone Claybrooks.

Campbell was named B.C.’s head coach in December 2019 after six seasons with the Ottawa Redblacks. He has yet to call a play for the Lions, however, because the CFL scrapped plans for an abreviated 2020 season in August due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Campbell was named the CFL’s top coach in 2015 and the following year led Ottawa to a Grey Cup title.

McEvoy has served as B.C.’s director of football operations since 2014, and brings a lot of practical experience to the GM position, Cambell said.

“Neil knows this league inside and out, and he knows the B.C. Lions and this community inside and out,” he said. “He understands everything from contracts and negotiation lists and all that type of stuff. It’s not a learning process, it’s something he knows how to do.”

McEvoy started working for the Lions in ticket sales in 1995, but was a fan of the club long before, starting when he went to games as a kid. That history makes the promotion to general manager extra special.

“Words can’t describe how excited I am for this opportunity and to be in this position,” he said.

“I found out real quick early on in my football career that becoming a professional athlete is probably not going to happen, but there are other jobs with the B.C. Lions and in the professional sports landscape. This is position that I’ve wanted for a long time.”

READ MORE: Edmonton’s CFL team drops ‘Eskimos’ name, will begin search for new name

Campbell and McEvoy are already at work on preparing for a potential 2021 season, and announced Monday that the eight members of the Lions coaching staff hired in 2020 will return. They include: Jordan Maksymic (offensive co-ordinator); Dan Yanowsky (special teams); Kelly Bates (offensive line); Jason Tucker (receivers); Danny O’Brien (running backs); Leroy Blugh (defensive line); Ryan Phillips (defensive backs) and Travis Brown (linebackers).

Last month, Ryan Rigmaiden was named director of U.S. scouting. Bob Ralph (director of Canadian scouting) and Geroy Simon (director of global scouting and U.S. regional scout in charge of evaluating the top international prospects for the global draft) will both return and work closely with Rigmaiden.

But there’s still a lot of business ahead for the newly appointed GMs.

A question mark hangs over B.C.’s marquee quarterback Mike Reilly, who has filed a grievance against the Lions, reportedly over the nonpayment of guaranteed money.

Club president Rick LeLacheur told season ticket holders in a virtual town hall last month that he’s confident the former Grey Cup MVP will be back with the Lions when the CFL returns.

The Lions also have 38 players on expiring contracts, including star wide receiver Bryan Burnham.

Campbell said the club is looking to lock up a number of the players before the league’s free agency period begins on Feb. 9.

“We’re going to work really hard to retain and fit as many guys as we can on our roster,” he said. “That’s going to be the next big step for the Lions.”

Gemma Karstens-Smith, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 

BC LionsCFLFootball

Just Posted

Michelle Jacobs receives her first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Coast Capri Hotel on April 28, 2021. The pop-up clinic was hosted by the First Nations Health Authority. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
126 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health over the weekend

There are 22 individuals hospitalized due to the virus, and 13 in intensive care

(File photo)
Repeated cougar sighting on Okanagan Rail Trail

Plenty of bear sightings around the valley too

Cassie Bonthoux and James Nelson (Contributed/Facebook)
Kelowna dealer who operated international dark web drug ring denied appeal

The BC Court of Appeal denied James Nelson an appeal on his 11-year prison sentence

Vernon local Ryan Lazar – who specializes in 2D background design and 3D animation – is ready to start his career after a tough yet rewarding two years of studies. (Contributed)
Okanagan College students get animated at graduation

‘The pandemic has resulted in more video consumption and the animation industry is so hot right now because of it’

A screenshot from the Kelowna Fire Department’s new Fire Safety House educational video. (Contributed)
Kelowna Fire Department’s Fire Safety House goes virtual

To adjust to the pandemic, KFD is offering virtual fire safety videos, virtual tours of fire hall

WildSafeBC is reminding residents to keep manage wildlife attractants on their property. (WildSafeBC Central Okanagan)
WildSafeBC reminds residents to manage attractants as bears spotted in Okanagan

The most prominent reminder is to keep garbage secured indoors until collection day

Barriere RCMP nabbed two suspects who were allegedly breaking into cabins in McLure. (File photo)
Thieves nabbed by Barriere Mounties during McLure break-ins

Police Service Dog Kody instrumental in making the arrest

KCR Migrant Support Worker, Javier, had an exciting day escorting his son Ian with him during ‘Take your Child to Work Day’!
KCR: Volunteering is being part of a whole

KCR Community Resources shares stories of its volunteers in a weekly column

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry update the province’s COVID-19 vaccine program, May 10, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate stays below 500 a day over weekend

14 more deaths, down to 350 in hospital as of Monday

Royal Bay Secondary School’s rainbow crosswalk was vandalized shortly after being painted but by Monday, coincidentally the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, the crosswalk had been cleaned up and students had surrounded it with chalk messages of support and celebration. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
B.C. high’s school’s pride crosswalk restored following ‘hateful’ graffiti attack

Hate terms, racial slur, phallic images spray-painted at Greater Victoria high school

RCMP vest
Penticton beach brawl results in one arrest but no charges

People took to social media after a fight broke out at the fire pits at Okanagan Lake Saturday

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Terrance Mack would have celebrated his 34th birthday on May 13, 2021. Mack’s family has identified him as the victim of a homicide in an apartment on Third Avenue in Port Alberni sometime in April. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
Family identifies Ucluelet man as victim of Vancouver Island homicide

Terrance Mack being remembered as ‘kind, gentle’ man

Salmon Arm RCMP seize a handgun, drugs and cash at a Silver Creek property on Friday, May 14, 2021. (File photo)
Police seize handgun, drugs and cash at a Shuswap property

Salmon Arm RCMP said warrant for Silver Creek revealed cannabis, possible cocaine, magic mushrooms

Most Read