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

Condemned building of the Twin Gables Motel in Crofton is not safe and yet a teen has been climbing around on the roof while others were ripping the siding off the building. (Photo submitted)
Destructive behaviour by teens wreaking havoc on Crofton

Residents becoming fed up with the constant vandalism and fires

The Regional District of Nanaimo has its sights set on busing to the Cowichan Valley in time for March 2022. (News Bulletin file)
Bus link between Nanaimo and the Cowichan Valley expected by next March

Unallocated transit hours already in Regional District of Nanaimo budget

A drug bust on Government Street in Duncan on Tuesday, March 30, led to a “substantial seizure” according to the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP. (File photo)
OPINION: School police liaison programs help keep kids and community safe

School liaison programs help build trust between youth and police, Duck Paterson writes

After many years of hard work, the Ladysmith Health Care Auxiliary completed its expansion and earned a VIREB commercial building award in the process. (Submitted photo)
Ladysmith Thrift Store wins VIREB commercial building award for best renovation

The renovated space was unveiled on November 14, 2020

Ladysmith RCMP safely escorted the black bear to the woods near Ladysmith Cemetary. (Town of Ladysmith/Facebook photo)
UPDATE: Black bear tranquillized, being relocated by conservation officers

A juvenile black bear was spotted near 2nd Avenue earlier Friday morning

A bullet hole is seen in the windshield of an RCMP vehicle approximately 4 km from Vancouver International Airport after a one person was killed during a shooting outside the international departures terminal at the airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Homicide team IDs man in fatal YVR shooting as police grapple with spate of gang violence

Man, 20, charged in separate fatal shooting Burnaby over the weekend

Two-year-old Kashius Weme rides at the Steve Smith Memorial Bike Park in Nanaimo on Tuesday, May 11. The youngster’s precocious bike-riding ability is already attracting cycle sponsors. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
2-year-old bike rider on Vancouver Island already attracting cycle sponsors

Nanaimo’s Kashius Weme has a knack for extreme cycle sports

Keith MacIntyre - BC Libertarian
Penticton’s Keith MacIntyre new leader of the B.C. Libertarian Party

The Penticton businessman was voted in by members of the party on May 8

RCMP are searching for Philip Toner, who is a 'person of interest' in the investigation of a suspicious death in Kootenay National Park last week. Photo courtesy BC RCMP.
Man sought in suspicious Kootenay death found in Lake Country

Philip Toner is a person of interest in the death of Brenda Ware

Vernon North Okanagan RCMP reported to 287 mental health calls between Jan. 1, 2021, and May 1. (Black Press files)
‘It’s not the police’s responsibility to deal with mental health calls’: Vernon RCMP

RCMP remind public to take care of mental health and well-being, while better solutions are sought

Thompson Rivers University campus is in Kamloops, B.C. (KTW file photo)
Thompson Rivers the 1st B.C. university to supply free menstrual products

The university will offer the products this September

Fraser Health is using ‘targeted’ vaccination clinics in high-risk areas of the Lower Mainland. (Fraser Health photo)
B.C.’s COVID-19 decrease continues, 515 new cases Tuesday

426 seriously ill people in hospital, up from 415 Monday

A scene from the Schoolhouse Squat from October 2018, where Alliance Against Displacement members and supporters occupied the Rutherford Elementary School site, advocating for people experiencing homelessness. (News Bulletin file)
‘Schoolhouse Squat’ activists get conditional discharge in Nanaimo school occupation

Ivan Donald Drury, Tingchun (Listen) Chen sentenced in provincial court in Nanaimo

The site of Sunfest, Laketown Ranch, will be open for camping this summer. (Citizen file)
Sunfest country music bash won’t be shining on B.C. in 2021

Annual Vancouver Island Festival cancelled due to COVID-19, along with Laketown Shakedown

Most Read