One of the major issues that has plagued the CFL and their franchises has been the lack of continuity and consistency over the years. Amar Doman has built a quality executive staff with Rick LeLacheur, Duane Vienneau, George Chayka and Carolyn Cody. These individuals make Doman’s life easier as the owner of the team by taking care of the logistics that come with running a professional football team.
With starting quarterback Nathan Rourke doing a NFL workout tour and legendary receiver Bryan Burnham retiring, panic should be setting in for the BC Lions fanbase, however, the team has been taking care of what they can control. This has earned them trust amongst their faithful. Announcing the re-signing of Head Coach and General Manager Rick Campbell and Assistant General Manager and Director of Player Personnel Neil McEvoy through 2024 was proof that this team is showing some stability in moving forward.
Campbell is football royalty in Canadian Football. His father Hugh led the Edmonton dynasty in the 70’s and early 80’s. After spending time in Houston as the Head Coach with the OIlers in the the NFL, Hugh Campbell returned to Edmonton helping the franchise win more Grey Cups as the General Manager. The focus for me though is the re-signing of Neil McEvoy.
Anyone who has followed the BC Lions closely know of the rise of Bob Ackles from waterboy to NFL executive, Bill Reichelt’s 42 seasons as a trainer with the ball club and the late Ken “Kato” Katsuya iconic role as the team’s equipment manager. McEvoy’s service and tenure with the team embodies what those three BC Lion legends were all about.
In 1995 McEvoy would get his start with the franchise in the ticket sales department. When 1997 rolled around he was named to director of player personnel. In his tenure with the team he has seen Dave Ritchie, Joe Paopao, Adam Rita, Greg Mohns, Steve Buratto, Wally Buono, Jeff Tedford, Mike Benevides, Devone Claybrooks and now Rick Campbell as head coaches of the franchise.
The simple fact that he has stuck through the constant changes shows his value. Aside from his work with the Leos he spends time coaching minor league football and lacrosse in the lower mainland. Neil McEvoy is an individual who is invested in the BC Lions and the community is someone who should be celebrated.
The recent announcements that two valuable Canadians have been re-signed in kicker Sean Whyte and defensive lineman David Menard demonstrates the Lions willingness to show their supporters that they are doing everything in their power to keep this team moving forward in the right direction.
The team has also released a 3-year season ticket special that will lock in prices for each season as well as give season seat holders a 25% discount for Grey Cup tickets when BC hosts in 2024.
The 2023 schedule will see the BC Lions playing their weekend home games at 4PM, making it more accommodating for those travelling from outside the city. The team bringing back the Shrum Bowl between UBC and SFU, investing in youth football and also doing whatever possible to make it easier for fans to make it to games no matter where they reside are all steps to bring this franchise back into the public’s conscience. This all adds up to making BC Lions home games the place to be in 2023.
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