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Remembering CFL Legend Dave Ritchie: A Coaching Giant Passes at 85

3 Key Points

  • Dave Ritchie leaves a legacy as a venerable head coach in the CFL.
  • His career included significant tenures with the B.C. Lions, Montreal Alouettes, and Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
  • Ritchie’s contributions extended beyond the CFL, impacting football in the NCAA and Europe.

Canadian Football Mourns the Loss of Dave Ritchie

Dave Ritchie, a revered figure in Canadian football, passed away at 85, confirmed by the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Ritchie, born in New Bedford, Mass, dedicated over two decades to the CFL, holding various coaching roles, and left an indelible mark on the teams and players he led.

A Rich Coaching Legacy

Ritchie’s Canadian coaching career commenced with the Montreal Concordes in 1983. His journey included significant roles with the B.C. Lions, Ottawa Rough Riders, and Montreal Alouettes, ultimately earning him a head coaching position with the B.C. Lions in 1993. Here, Ritchie quickly made history by securing a Grey Cup win in his first year. His coaching prowess was further solidified during his time with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, where he was recognized as the CFL Coach of the Year in 2001 after a standout 14-4 season.

Record-Breaking Achievements

Over 11 seasons, across three teams, Ritchie achieved an impressive head coaching record of 108-76-3. This achievement places him as the seventh-winningest coach in CFL history. His legacy was further honored with induction into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 2022, a testament to his contributions to the sport.

Beyond the CFL

Ritchie’s impact was not confined to Canada. His coaching journey included significant stints in the NCAA with the University of Cincinnati, Brown University, and Fairmont State. Ritchie also made his mark overseas, contributing to the success of teams like the Milano Seamen in Italy and the Zurich Renegades in Switzerland, showcasing his international influence on the sport.

The Canadian Football League, along with former colleagues and players, mourns the loss of a true football titan. Dave Ritchie’s legacy as a coach who deeply cared for his teams and led them to great success will not soon be forgotten.

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Mark Perry Editor
Mark Perry is the founder and editor of CFL News Hub. A dedicated and experienced football analyst, he has been providing comprehensive coverage of the sport since 2018.
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