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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Once complete this summer, the Ambrosia in Keremeos will house more than 100 seniors, families and those on disability. (LSCSS photo)
Keremeos affordable housing suites coming along

Once complete, Ambrosia will house more than 100 people

Penticton Search and Rescue completed two rescues in succession of each other Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021 afternoon. (PENSAR / Facebook)
Penticton Search and Rescue members execute back-to-back rescues

PENSAR had barely completed their first rescue of the day when they received a second call

(THE NEWS – files)
Snowy days ahead for the Okanagan and Shuswap

The region could get up to 5 cm by Thursday

MP Richard Cannings
NDP chooses Cannings again for next federal election

If there is a snap election, the long-time MP for South Okanagan West Kootenay will be ready

People skate on a lake in a city park in Montreal, Sunday, January 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
The end of hugs: How COVID-19 has changed daily life a year after Canada’s 1st case

Today marks the one year anniversary of COVID-19 landing in Canada

Crews with Discovery Channel film as an Aggressive Towing driver moves a Grumman S2F Tracker aircraft around a 90-degree turn from its compound and onto the road on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. It was the “most difficult” part of the move for the airplane, one organizer said. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: Vintage military plane gets towed from Chilliwack to Greater Victoria

Grumman CP-121 Tracker’s eventual home the British Columbia Aviation Museum on Vancouver Island

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. Two more cases of the COVID-19 strain first identified in South Africa have been diagnosed in British Columbia, bringing the total to three as of Jan. 16.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. now has three cases of South African COVID-19 variant, six of U.K. strain

Both variants are thought to spread faster than earlier strains

Rodney and Ekaterina Baker in an undated photo from social media. The couple has been ticketed and charged under the Yukon’s <em>Civil Emergency Measures Act</em> for breaking isolation requirements in order to sneak into a vaccine clinic and receive Moderna vaccine doses in Beaver Creek. (Facebook/Submitted)
Great Canadian Gaming CEO resigns after being accused of sneaking into Yukon for vaccine

Rod Baker and Ekaterina Baker were charged with two CEMA violations each

Police discovered a makeshift nightclub in a Vancouver apartment on Jan. 23, 2021, and say it wasn’t the first time this month officers have been called to the unit over social gathering concerns. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Doorman of makeshift ‘booze-can’ in Vancouver apartment fined; police look to court order

This marks the fourth complaint about social gatherings inside the apartment in January

A Kelowna couple welcomed their Nooner baby in December. (Flytographer)
Kelowna couple welcomes baby girl from Hotel Zed Nooner campaign

Nicole and Alex will now have 18 years of free stays at the hotel

The Abbotsford Tulip Festival is permanently closing, with plans to eventually set up in Armstrong, B.C. (Abbotsford News file photo)
Abbotsford Tulip Festival is closing, with plans to rebloom in Armstrong

Event organizer says pandemic and sale of land were factors in decision

Group of cowboys on horses out rounding up cattle, 1888. The Greater Vernon Museum and Archives is celebrating Vernon Winter Carnival’s Wild West theme with a virtual trip back in time looking at the ranching days. (GVMA #5021)
Museum rounds up North Okanagan’s wild west past

Vernon Winter Carnival event, Meanwhile…Back at the Ranch, Feb. 9

Virtual programming will assist the Allan Brooks Nature Centre Society in spreding environmental education. (ABNCS photo)
North Okanagan nature centre online with gaming grant

Allan Brooks Nature Centre Society benefits from provincial funds

Three cars had their tires slashed in Vernon over the weekend. (Contributed)
Tires slashed at three North Okanagan residences

RCMP investigating Okanagan Landing-area incidents

Most Read