School's out for 'Gades

BARRE CAMPBELL -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 8:12 AM ET

In Renegades land, it's out with the old and in with the ... well, old.

Coaches and players packed their belongings, as directed by president Lonie Glieberman and GM Forrest Gregg, and cleared out of the team's football building at Lansdowne Park yesterday to make way for incoming coach John Jenkins.

This morning at a press conference, Jenkins will be introduced as the second coach in the club's history, taking over for the fired Joe Paopao, who coached the final game of his four-year stint with the Renegades on Saturday.

And now begins a monumental task for Glieberman and his entire Renegades operation of winning the hearts and wallets of the city's football fans.

That work began last night after Jenkins arrived in town from his home in western Texas.

Along with Glieberman and Gregg, he attended a fund-raising event at the St. Elias church hall on Riverside Dr.

The club's new power trio will more urgently need to work on regaining the confidence of a group of players that have seemingly lost faith in the future of the franchise under its current leadership.

PLAYERS LEERY

Some players eligible for free agency in February are leery that the Renegades, who finished 7-11, will be able to make what's become a gigantic leap for the franchise -- qualifying for the playoffs.

Not next year, or in the foreseeable future.

"If the ship is sinking, I don't want to be a part of it," said defensive back Korey Banks, the CFL interceptions king and potential free agent.

Banks had 10 interceptions this season and could receive interest from NFL teams.

If he doesn't land a contract in the NFL, he could shop himself around the CFL.

"I'm in the driver's seat, and I'm driving a limo right now," said the always colourful Banks. "Whoever wants to get a ride will have to wait until I stop."

Speaking later about the chances of returning to the Renegades, he said, "I just don't want to waste my career losing."

Glieberman and Gregg cleaned house -- axing every member of the coaching staff along with Paopao, and most of the support staff on the football side, including trainer Steve Dias, strength coach Phil Jewell and director of football administration Robin McDougall.

RUFFY'S JOB SAFE

Only Ruffy the mascot, it seems, is safe.

Quarterback Kerry Joseph, who enters a club option of a three-year contract, could lose his job as the final year of his deal is worth some $300,000.

"It's like a whole new regime is starting," said Joseph. "It's going to be interesting. The guys just want to sit back and relax, but it's a bit (unnerving)."

Another potential free agent, running back Josh Ranek, will return home to Black Hills, S.D., where he'll help his brother operate a gym.

Ranek and his wife, Danielle, are expecting their first child in February and are building a house in the Black Hills area.

"I'm going to rest and then I'm going to sit down with my wife and see how things play out," said Ranek, a fan favourite. "I'm not in any hurry to make a decision, but I'm not going to close any doors. I'll be open to everything."

Paopao, meanwhile, in keeping with his weekend "Aloha" theme, showed up yesterday wearing a floral-patterned surf shirt, jeans and flip-flops, comfort wear on a day in which he delivered a final farewell to his players, then cleared out his belongings.

"It's like the last day of school in Grade 12," said Paopao. "Summer's here."


Videos

Photos