Big-hearted Harris left major impression on CFL

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:50 AM ET

Richard Harris made a huge impact on people across the CFL.

His name was in the hearts of so many people in the CFL Wednesday, the day after the affable, larger-than-life defensive line and assistant head coach died after suffering a massive heart attack.

Here’s a few snippets of what people around the league had to say:

“He talked to you like a man and treated you with respect. Sometimes in this business, you don’t see that a lot. He was one of the best.”

— Bombers QB Buck Pierce

“He wasn’t just there for the game, he was there for you as a human being and that’s what guys are going to miss. You don’t get that connection in sports these days.”

— Bombers OL Obby Khan

“Rich was a very close friend of mine. I loved the man as if he was my brother and we spent a lot of time together. God really called one of his angels home.”

— Eskimos head coach Kavis Reed.

“My heart was broken ... he was always someone who’d give you a big hug.”

— Hamilton Tiger-Cats head coach Marcel Bellefeuille.

“It’s crazy. I just talked to him two days ago. He called me ... I’m just thankful the last words I said to him were that I love him.”

— Hamilton DL Stevie Baggs

“If it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t be in the CFL. In 2006 and 2007 I was on the practice roster in Winnipeg and he was one of the only people who kept my head screwed on right because I was getting ready to get out ... making 400 bucks a week. He took me out to eat every day and talked about football and life. (This) was a real shock for me. But I know God doesn’t make mistakes.”

— Baggs

“He was a loving guy. He was like the dad of the locker room, a guy everyone looked up to, a guy you can talk to about anything and not just football. He would talk about life in general. The door to his office was always open. He was a very wise guy and I loved him. My family loved him and from the very first time I met him, I felt that way.”

— Argonauts QB Steven Jyles

“My son doesn’t do well with strangers, but from the very beginning he ran up to coach Harris and he took to him. Coach Harris is a guy you never forget.”

— Jyles

“Oh man, words can’t describe the things he did for me and the love he showed me. He meant a lot to us. He’s the true meaning of a player-coach.”

— Bomber DE Odell Willis

“I’m the oldest of seven kids so I never had a big brother. He (Richard Harris) was my big brother.”

— Roughriders head coach Greg Marshall


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