In 2014, hope was given to football fans in the Ottawa area as the CFL was back in Ottawa with the Ottawa Redblacks. To lead the new team was coach Rick Campbell, son of all-time great CFL coach Hugh Campbell who won 10 grey cups as a player and a coach. Not only was Rick the son of Hugh, but he was also an assistant coach with him in Edmonton along with finding his own jobs in Calgary, Winnipeg and Oregon.
Hope may have been given, but the 2014 season was unable to meet the fans expectations as they went 2-16 in their inaugural season. It may have been their inaugural season, but the 2-16 finish wasn’t the best thing to look at for football fans in the area.
Fortunately for the Redblacks and its fans, they wouldn’t have to look at losing records for much longer. Both Rick Campbell and GM Marcel Desjardins worked together to sign some big names, and the 2015 Redblacks who were led by quarterback Henry Burris went to the 103rd Grey Cup in Winnipeg.
A 12-6 record and an east division title granted Rick Campbell the award of the CFL coach of the year in 2015. Although the team received multiple awards going into the big game, they were unable to pull through with the victory. The team lost 26-20 to the Edmonton Eskimos, and Campbell was promising the city of Ottawa to believe in them for the 2016 season.
Luckily for Campbell, the fans didn’t need any promises, in 2016 they were loud and proud cheering for a 2016 Redblacks team who were looking better than their 2015 selves. Finishing 8-9-1 looked tough compared to the previous year, but the team won the east and played like a team going all the way to the 2016 Grey Cup.
Just moments before the game had started, Henry Burris was injured during warmups, although he explains to coach Campbell that he’s okay to play. Campbell was in the thought process of either sticking with Burris or getting backup quarterback Trevor Harris to run the show at the Grey Cup. Although t may have been a tough choice to make, he without a doubt stuck with the veteran quarterback, and his decision to keep Burris in for the game came back to achieve him as they won Ottawa’s first Grey Cup in 40 years 39-33 in overtime against the firing hot Calgary Stampeders.
Since the Grey Cup win, Campbell has brought the team to the playoffs twice, going to the Grey Cup in 2018 but losing to Calgary. He came into the 2019 season without a definite starting quarterback, and many big pieces from the previous season.
After playing in the Grey Cup the previous year, the Redblacks went through 3 starting quarterbacks throughout the 2019 season who combined for 3 total wins on a 3-15 record to close off the season.
With most of his amusement gone after a depressing 2019 season, Campbell decided to part ways with the franchise after his 6th season as the head coach.
Campbell finished his time here in Ottawa with a 43-63-2 record along with 3 Grey Cup appearances (2016 Championship) and a 2015 coach of the year award.