Stamps hire Campbell as defensive coordinator
By IAN BUSBY, QMI Agency
|The Stampeders have brought back Rick Campbell (middle) to become their defensive coordinator. (STUART DRYDEN/QMI Agency file photo)
CALGARY - Rick Campbell is once again switching sides in the Battle of Alberta, but the chance to come back to Calgary was an opportunity he couldn't pass up.
Campbell was hired Wednesday to be the newest Calgary Stampeders defensive co-ordinator, taking over for the guy he lost out to just two months ago.
Stamps GM-head coach John Hufnagel hired Dave Walkosky on Dec. 23 to replace Chris Jones, who went to Toronto to become the Argonauts' defensive co-ordinator after four seasons in Calgary.
Walkosky resigned from the position this week to join the Georgia Tech Bulldogs as a special teams coach, so Hufnagel turned to Campbell.
After spending 2010 as the Stamps' running backs coach, Campbell went back to the Edmonton Eskimos as special teams co-ordinator.
Now he returns, and he's back on the side of the ball he's most comfortable, while the Eskimos will need to find a new special teams co-ordinator after giving Campbell permission to leave.
"The attraction of Calgary to me is a lot of pieces of the puzzle are in place," Campbell said. "There are a lot of good players there. It's a matter of working as a defensive staff and finding a way to get better."
When Campbell was hired to join the Stamps two years ago, it was a departure from the norm for him. Prior to coming to the Stamps, he spent his entire CFL coaching career on defence or with special teams.
From 2005 to 2008, Campbell was the defensive co-ordinator for the Edmonton Eskimos, helping the team win the Grey Cup in his first year at that position.
He started coaching in 1999, and in 2010, he finally got a taste of the other side.
"I wanted to sit with an offence and see what gave them problems," Campbell said. "I'm sure that will make me an even better coach. I know what the other side thinks.
"(As a defence,) we want to show multiple looks. In this league, the offences and quarterbacks are too good if you are too vanilla. You need to show different looks and create protection issues for the offence. I sure learning that year in Calgary being on offence."
This move comes late in the off-season. Usually teams finalize their coaching staffs as quickly as possible to move onto other business.
Hufnagel needed to pull off this hiring while also attending CFL league meetings in Toronto. It certainly helped that there was a process taken in December so Hufnagel knew who his candidates were for this job.
Campbell went through the interview process in December, and Hufnagel chose Walkosky to maintain continuity.
Knowing him from 2010 certainly helped Hufnagel make the decision to call Campbell this week easier.
"If you reflect back, we had a productive offence that year," Hufnagel said. "Rick has great knowledge and is a great teacher. He is well respected within the league.
"He went up to Edmonton last year and their special teams had a great year. It's because of the type of coach he is. He gets the best out of his players. That's what I hope he does as our defensive coordinator."