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Argos Mourn The Passing Of Former Head Coach And CFL Coaching Legend Rich Stubler

The Argos and CFL world are mourning the loss of one of Canada’s most innovative and impactful defensive coaches Rich Stubler, who has passed away at the age of 74. His cause of death as of press time is unknown. The well-traveled and respected coach had most recently been coaching at Clearwater Academy in Florida.

“He will be missed,” said Argonauts Head Coach Ryan Dinwiddie. “Rich was old school; he had a wealth of knowledge and a real passion for the game. He invented the match defense that teams around the league still use today. He certainly made a deep impact on the Canadian game.”

Rich Stubler, a Colorado native., first ventured to Canada in 1983 as the Hamilton Tiger-Cats‘ defensive coordinator, a post he led through 1986.

He also spent time with the Toronto Argonauts, Edmonton, B.C. Lions, Calgary Stampeders, and Montreal Alouettes. A hired gun for his defensive expertise and innovations. Stubler would have multiple stints with CFL teams.

Stubler had four different tenures with Toronto, including as head coach in 2008.

Stubler also had multiple stints with Edmonton and B.C., either as a defensive co-coordinator or position coach.

Stubler was part of five Grey Cup-winning teams during his time in Canada and was regarded as one of the CFL’s most innovative defensive coaches. His coaching run in the early to mid-90s with Edmonton changed the CFL landscape.

Stubler’s “Edge” defence was noteworthy for lining up defensive tackles and ends 1-2 yards off the line of scrimmage to offer defensive linemen better vision and tackling angles; his defence allowed the fewest points in the 1993 season (12-3 record in the CFL West), the second fewest in the 1994 season (13-5 in the CFL West), and the fewest in the 1995 season (13-5 in the CFL North).

Stubler’s coaching resume also included stops in the NCAA at Colorado, New Mexico, Southern Methodist, Colorado State, New Mexico State, and Oregon, as well as the Arena Football League’s Detroit Fury.

The Toronto Argonauts Football Club sent the following release to the media on Rich Stubler’s contributions to the CFL and the Boatmen.

ARGOS MOURN THE PASSING OF FORMER HEAD COACH RICH STUBLER

TORONTO –The Toronto Argonauts are saddened to learn of the passing of former Head Coach Rich Stubler.

Stubler’s football coaching career spanned six decades and included stints coaching high school, NCAA, and indoor football and over 30 years in the CFL. The University of Northern Colorado graduate had four separate stints coaching with the Argos and first joined the Double Blue in 1990 as a defensive coordinator under Head Coach Don Matthews. He returned from 2003-2007, where he served as defensive coordinator and assistant head coach for five seasons, winning the Grey Cup in 2004 under head coach and current Argos GM Michael “Pinball” Clemons. Stubler was chosen as Argonauts head coach in 2008 before coming back a third time in 2016 as defensive coordinator. He was an assistant coach under Ryan Dinwiddie in 2021, his fourth and final stint in Toronto. The Colorado native won five Grey Cup championships during his CFL tenure and left a lasting legacy on defenses around the league, having coached in Hamilton, Edmonton (three times), BC (four), Calgary, and Montreal to go along with Toronto.

“He will be missed,” said Argonauts Head Coach Ryan Dinwiddie. “Rich was old school; he had a wealth of knowledge and a real passion for the game. He invented the match defense that teams around the league still use today. He certainly made a deep impact on the Canadian game.”

The Argonauts organization extends its deepest condolences to the family and friends of the CFL legend.

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Mike Mitchell Reporter
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