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CFL Hall of Fame head coach Dave Ritchie passes away at age 85

Dave Ritchie, who was once the top trainer of the B.C. Lions for his or her iconic ’94 Gray Cup victory over the Baltimore Stallions, died Saturday. He was once 85.

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers, some other CFL staff Ritchie coached, showed the demise. The motive was once no longer straight away divulged.

Ritchie gathered a 52-41-1 regular-season report as a head trainer with Winnipeg (1999-2004). That left him fourth total in membership historical past at the back of Bud Lend (102), wave head trainer Mike O’Shea (96) and Cal Murphy (86).

It was once right through Ritchie’s tenure as B.C.’s head trainer that his membership united Canada. The Lions dispatched Baltimore 26-23 within the 82nd Gray Cup on Lui Passaglia’s game-ending 38-yard grassland objective at B.C. Park Stadium in Vancouver, capping the primary championship ever in professional soccer to quality a U.S.-Canada matchup.

“Just that alone, to me, makes our youngsters special,” Ritchie mentioned in regards to the competition in 2022 upon being inducted into the Canadian Soccer Corridor of Status. “For one week, everybody in our ball club was a Canadian.”

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Ritchie, of Untouched Bedford, Cluster., spent 11 of his 22 CFL seasons as a head trainer with B.C. (1993-95), Montreal (1997-98) and Winnipeg. He gained 108-of-187 profession regular-season video games to arise 7th all-time.

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He additionally claimed Gray Cup rings as an workman with Winnipeg (1990) and B.C. (2006).

Ritchie first joined the Bombers in 1990 on head trainer Mike Riley’s team of workers as a defensive series and special-teams trainer. He left then the ’91 season, next returned in 1999 then being named head trainer and taking on a Winnipeg squad that was once 3-15 in 1998.

Winnipeg advanced to 6-12 in its first season beneath Ritchie, next 7-10-1 in 2000. However in 2001, Winnipeg posted a 14-4 regular-season report and complex to the Gray Cup ahead of losing a 27-19 choice to the Calgary Stampeders.

Nonetheless, Ritchie was once named the CFL’s trainer of the presen that season.

“Dave Ritchie was a respected leader during his days as Blue Bombers head coach and in his other coaching positions across the Canadian Football League, in the NCAA and in Europe,” Winnipeg president/CEO Wade Miller mentioned in a commentary. “He had a keenness for his gamers and his groups and led each to admirable good fortune.

“The Winnipeg Football Club offers our deepest sympathies to his wife Sharon, Dave’s family, and his many friends.”

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Once in a while gruff and to the purpose, Ritchie additionally had a cushy facet, particularly together with his gamers. And clear of the grassland, Ritchie, his Massachusetts pronunciation very revealed, had an overly withered however infectious sense of humour.

In comfy settings with newshounds, Ritchie would proportion amusing and steadily humorous tales from his lengthy soccer profession.

Ritchie was once inducted into the Winnipeg Soccer Membership Corridor of Status in 2014 however the pinnacle of his training profession in Canada got here together with his induction into the Canadian Soccer Corridor of Status.

“It means a great deal because I believe the CFL is the top league in the world,” Ritchie mentioned on the occasion. “I’d get into a big-time argument but the athletes I had in the secondary and linebacker position, almost every one of them is in a Hall of Fame somewhere, whether it’s British Columbia, Winnipeg or the Canadian Football Hall of Fame.

“How can you lose when you have great youngsters around you? I might’ve been a little off the wall sometimes but I did have some great players, I also had many great coaches.”

&magazine 2024 The Canadian Press

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