HAMILTON – Dave Ritchie will eternally be a element of CFL history.
Ritchie was the head coach of the BC Lions when they defeated the Baltimore Stallions 26-23 in the ’94 Gray Cup on Lui Passaglia’s activity-ending 38-property area objective at BC Location. It marked the very first championship ever in pro soccer to element a US-Canada matchup.
“Just that on your own, to me, helps make our children exclusive,” Ritchie recollected Thursday. “For one 7 days, all people on our ballclub was a Canadian.”
But the best accolade of Ritchie’s tenure north of the border will arrive Friday when he is formally inducted into the Canadian Football Corridor of Fame.
“It signifies a great offer simply because I feel the CFL is the prime league in the environment,” Ritchie mentioned. “I’d get into a significant-time argument but the athletes I had in the secondary and linebacker posture, pretty much each individual a person of them is in a Corridor of Fame somewhere, whether it is British Columbia, Winnipeg or the Canadian Football Hall of Fame.
“How can you lose when you have fantastic kids close to you? I might’ve been a minor off the wall in some cases but I did have some terrific gamers, I also had many good coaches.”
Quarterback Ricky Ray and linebacker Chip Cox — both in their first many years of eligibility — kicker Paul McCallum, fullback Tim Tindale and two-way star Dick Thornton will all be inducted as gamers. Becoming a member of Ritchie in the builder classification will be longtime crew govt Roy Shivers and Calgary Colts founder Keith Evans.
The inductees will also be honored Saturday at halftime when the Hamilton Tiger-Cats host the Winnipeg Blue Bombers Saturday at Tim Hortons Industry.
Ritchie, 84, of New Bedford, Mass., invested 11 of his 22 CFL seasons as a head coach with BC (1993–95), Montreal (1997–98) and Winnipeg (1999–04). He received 108-of-187 vocation regular-period video games to stand seventh all-time.
Ritchie also earned Gray Cup rings as an assistant with Winnipeg (1990) and BC (2006).
Hamilton head mentor Orlondo Steinauer faced a lot of Ritchie-coached teams as a Corridor of Fame defensive again with Ottawa (1996), the Ticats (1997–2000) and Toronto (2001–08). He explained a staple of Ritchie’s squads was their preparedness.
“When he was in Montreal, it was authentic straightforward, you better quit the run,” Steinauer said. “Here they are coming with (Mike) Pringle and (Canadian Michael) Soles appropriate at you and then you increase (quarterback Tracy) Ham to the mix.
“When I arrived into the league, Dave Ritchie’s name was a person of those people that was related with the league and longevity of it. A ton of regard. Congratulations, prolonged overdue for Dave Ritchie, for certain.”
Ritchie gained information of his induction from very good friend Wally Buono, the Hall of Fame coach with Calgary and BC
“I didn’t give (Hall of Fame) significantly assumed right after a little bit simply because in some cases you get misplaced in the shuffle following a even though,” Ritchie explained. “I did get a nice cellular phone get in touch with from Wally who instructed my spouse, ‘Tell Dave I have some excellent news and some negative news.’
“I figured I would get the undesirable news out of the way right before I acquired the good news if there was any. He reported, ‘You’re likely to have to fly into Hamilton.’ I mentioned, ‘I’m not finding into an airplane, Wally,.’ So I drove.”
Immediately after producing the lengthy trek from Rhode Island, Ritchie noticed a sight for sore eyes: former defensive back again Considerably less Browne, who performed for Ritchie in BC
“It was pretty a journey,” Ritchie explained. “But the initially (human being) I saw when I received here was a single of the greatest defensive backs in CFL history and I experienced just a little little bit to do with it, Mr. Much less Brown.
“That manufactured my working day. Owning my spouse with me often tends to make my day. Our kids are coming up and that will make my working day. I’m definitely delighted. I really don’t think any person genuinely worries about an award so I would not be concerned. I just figured regardless of what I did, I hope it was plenty of.”
As destiny would have it, Ritchie will be inducted on the same weekend Winnipeg visits Hamilton. What is actually more, Bombers quarterback Zach Collaros played his university soccer at Ritchie’s alma mater — the University of Cincinnati.
“He (Collaros) went to a single of the finest universities in all of The us,” Ritchie reported with a chuckle. “Got to get that punch in there and I experienced yet another just one from there, Danny Barrett.
“But that (Winnipeg becoming in Hamilton for the duration of induction weekend) was the next point Wally explained to me. I consider I consider when you get more mature you value items far more.”
Ritchie reported he’s still having about a drop he experienced about three months ago that resulted in a back again personal injury and also aggravated a neck ailment he sustained when enjoying soccer at Cincinnati.
“But you know what? It is so good to be on this side of the filth,” he said.
This report by The Canadian Press was to start with revealed Sept. 15, 2022.