B.C. Lions rookie head coach DeVone Claybrooks has filled out his staff for the 2019 season, adding eight new members including coaching veteran Rich Stubler and recently retired players Nik Lewis and Drew Tate.
Stubler will fill the roles of defensive co-ordinator and linebackers coach. It’s his fourth stint in Vancouver after serving as defensive co-ordinator in 2000 and from 2012 to 2013, and as the defensive line coach in 2010.
Stubler began his CFL coaching career in 1983 as defensive co-ordinator of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and has also ran the defence in Edmonton, Toronto and Calgary. He was head coach of the Argonauts in 2008 before being fired 10 games into the season with the team at 4-6.
He spent last season as defensive co-ordinator in Montreal.
Stubler takes over for defensive co-ordinator Mark Washington, who was one of seven members of the Lions coaching staff that the team parted ways with last week.
Lewis, a three-time CFL all-star and two-time Grey Cup champion with Calgary, makes his debut on the sidelines as running backs coach. Tate, who won a Grey Cup with Lewis in 2014, was named quarterbacks coach a day after announcing his retirement from the CFL.
Bryan Chiu, a former all-star lineman who went on to coach the offensive line in Toronto and Ottawa, was named the Lions’ offensive line coach. The team also named Ryan Phillips as defensive backs coach, Chris Ellis as defensive line coach, Taylor Altilio as special tames co-ordinator and Keith Stokes as special teams and offensive assistant.
Claybrooks was named Lions head coach last week after legendary coach Wally Buono announced his retirement following 46 years in the CFL.
The Lions did not offer new contracts to Washington, special teams co-ordinator Jeff Reinebold, offensive line coach Dan Dorazio, linebackers coach Chris Tormey, defensive line coach Randy Melvin, assistant defensive backs coach Stanley Franks and running backs coach Mike Lionello.
Offensive co-ordinator Jarious Jackson will return in 2019 and receivers coach Markus Howell also was retained.
The Lions finished fourth in the West Division at 9-9 last season and qualified for the playoffs as a crossover team. They were routed 48-8 by Hamilton in the East semifinal.
The Canadian Press