Adam Rita (Born September 21, 1947) is a gridiron football coach & general manager, most notably in the Canadian Football League. He has served as the head coach of the Toronto Argonauts, Ottawa Rough Riders, and BC Lions and as general manager of the Lions and Argonauts. Since 2018, he has served as head coach of the Bergamo Lions of the Italian Football League.[1]

Adam Rita
Bergamo Lions
AdamRita.jpg
Adam Rita at the Argos' practice facility on June 14, 2009.
Born:(1947-09-21)September 21, 1947
Kauai, Hawaii
Career information
Position(s)Head coach
Career history
As administrator
19972002BC Lions (GM)
20042010Toronto Argonauts (GM)
As coach
1969–1976Boise State Broncos (AC)
1977–1978UNLV Rebels (AC)
1979–1982Hawaii Rainbow Warriors (AC)
1983–1988BC Lions (OC)
1989UBC Thunderbirds (HC)
1990Toronto Argonauts (OC)
1991–1992Toronto Argonauts (HC)
1993Edmonton Eskimos (OC)
1994Ottawa Rough Riders (HC)
1995Memphis Mad Dogs (OC)
1996Toronto Argonauts (OC)
1997–1998BC Lions (HC)
2002BC Lions (IHC)
2003Toronto Argonauts (OC)
2012–2015Trinity College School (AC/OC)
2012Prague Panthers (HC)
2013–2014Calanda Broncos (HC)
2016–2017Clarkson Secondary School (AC/OC)
2018–presentBergamo Lions (HC/OC)
Career highlights and awards
6x Grey Cup champion – (1985, 1991, 1993, 1996, 2000, 2004)

College playing careerEdit

From 1965-1968, Rita attended Boise State University playing center for the Boise State Broncos.[2]

NCAA coaching careerEdit

From 1969-1976, Rita continued his tenure with the Boise State Broncos, serving as an assistant coach & recruiting director. After leaving Boise State, Rita's U.S. college coaching stints continued with the UNLV Rebels & Hawaii Rainbow Warriors.

Coaching & GM career in Canadian footballEdit

In 1983, Rita began his first professional coaching tenure as the offensive co-ordinator for the B.C. Lions under head coach Don Matthews.[3]

In 1989, Rita left the CFL to join the coaching staff of the UBC Thunderbirds of CIAU football.

In 1990, Rita rejoined Matthews in Toronto as offensive coordinator for the Toronto Argonauts. In 1991, after Matthews' departure, Rita became a first time CFL head coach for the Argonauts with whom he won his first and only Grey Cup championship as a head coach in that same year. In September 1992, after a 3-8 start to the season, Rita was fired as Argonauts head coach.

In 1993, Rita joined the Edmonton Eskimos as their offensive coordinator. The team went on to win the 81st Grey Cup that year.

In 1994, Rita became the head coach of the Ottawa Rough Riders. The team went on to finish their season with a 4-14.

In 1995, Rita resigned as the Rough Riders' head coach to become the offensive coordinator for one of the new U.S. expansion teams in the CFL, the Memphis Mad Dogs.[4]

In 1996, Rita reunited with Matthews, rejoining the Argonauts as their offensive coordinator in 1996. The team would go on to win the 84th Grey Cup that year.

In 1997, Rita joined the B.C. Lions as both their new head coach and general manager. In 1998, Rita relinquished his head coaching responsibilities halfway through the season, focusing exclusively on his general manager duties. In 2002, after six games into the season, Rita took over as their interim head coach.

In 2003, Rita returned to the Toronto Argonauts as their offensive coordinator serving under head coach Pinball Clemons who he used to coach. In 2004, Rita was promoted to General Manager and Vice President of Football Operations of the Argonauts. Toronto won the 92nd Grey Cup in his first year on the job, but managed only a 48–60 record after that. Rita's contract was not renewed following the 2010 season and he was replaced by head coach Jim Barker.[5]

During his CFL tenure, Rita won 6 Grey Cups in 8 appearances in his capacities as head coach, offensive coordinator, and general manager.

In 2012, Rita turned to high school football coaching, becoming an assistant coach & offensive coordinator with the Trinity College School football team in Port Hope, Ontario.[6][7]

In 2016, Rita moved from Trinity College School to the "Footbal North" program at Clarkson Secondary School in Mississauga as their assistant coach and offensive coordinator.[8][9]

Coaching career in EuropeEdit

In 2012, Rita served as the head coach for the Prague Panthers in the Czech Republic.

In 2013-14, Rita served as the head coach of the Calanda Broncos in Switzerland.

In 2018, Rita became the head coach and offensive coordinator of the Bergamo Lions of the Italian Football League.[10]

Personal lifeEdit

Rita grew up on Kaua'i, Hawai'i and as a young boy, he was a member of a canoe club and appeared paddling a canoe in the wedding scene of the Elvis Presley movie Blue Hawaii.

Rita has two sons, Kevin and Harrison and two grandchildren Seth and Jennifer.[11]

CFL GM recordEdit

Team Year Regular Season Post Season
Won Lost Ties Win % Finish Won Lost Result
BC 1997 8 10 0 .444 4th in West Division 0 1 Lost in East Semi-Final
BC 1998 9 9 0 .500 3rd in West Division 0 1 Lost in West Semi-Final
BC 1999 13 5 0 .750 1st in West Division 0 1 Lost in West Final
BC 2000 8 10 0 .444 3rd in West Division 3 0 Won Grey Cup
BC 2001 8 10 0 .444 3rd in West Division 0 1 Lost in West Semi-Final
BC 2002 10 8 0 .750 3rd in West Division 0 1 Lost in West Semi-Final
TOR 2003 9 9 0 .500 2nd in West Division 1 1 Lost in East Final
TOR 2004 10 7 1 .588 2nd in East Division 3 0 Won Grey Cup
TOR 2005 11 7 0 .611 1st in East Division 0 1 Lost in East Final
TOR 2006 10 8 0 .556 2nd in East Division 1 1 Lost in East Final
TOR 2007 11 7 0 .611 1st in East Division 0 1 Lost in East Final
TOR 2008 4 14 0 .222 3rd in East Division - - Failed to Qualify
TOR 2009 3 15 0 .167 4th in East Division - - Failed to Qualify
TOR 2010 9 9 0 .500 3rd in East Division 1 1 Lost in East Final
Total 122 128 1 .488 3 Division
Championships
9 10 2 Grey Cups

CFL coaching recordEdit

Team Year Regular Season Post Season
Won Lost Ties Win % Finish Won Lost Result
TOR 1991 13 5 0 .722 1st in East Division 2 0 Won Grey Cup
TOR 1992 3 8 0 .273 4th in East Division Fired Midseason
OTT 1994 4 14 0 .222 4th in East Division 0 1 Lost in East Semi-Final
BC 1997 8 10 0 .444 4th in West Division 0 1 Lost in Division Semifinals
BC 1998 2 6 0 .250 4th in West Division Resigned Midseason
BC 2002 9 3 0 .750 3rd in West Division 0 1 Lost in Division Semifinals
Total 40 46 0 .465 1 Division
Championships
2 3 1 Grey Cup

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ http://www.lionsbergamo.it/1/coach_lions_4439630.html
  2. ^ https://www.nytimes.com/1991/07/11/sports/sports-of-the-times-at-last-the-rocket-is-sighted.html
  3. ^ http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Football/CFL/Toronto/2007/12/19/4732056-sun.html
  4. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zQYvwfdCO38
  5. ^ "Argos' Coach Barker Adds General Manager Role; Rita Out". TSN.ca. Retrieved December 15, 2010.
  6. ^ https://www.tcs.on.ca/2012-09-26/grey-cup-winning-coach-adds-talents-tcs-football-squad
  7. ^ https://www.cflaa.ca/veteran-cfl-head-coach-adam-rita-returns-to-europe-with-italys-bergamo-lions/
  8. ^ https://www.cflaa.ca/veteran-cfl-head-coach-adam-rita-returns-to-europe-with-italys-bergamo-lions/
  9. ^ http://clarksonfootballnorth.ca/coaches.html
  10. ^ http://www.lionsbergamo.it/1/coach_lions_4439630.html
  11. ^ http://bleacherreport.com/articles/793774-former-cfl-gm-and-head-coach-adam-rita-joins-ksmg-football-team

External linksEdit

Awards
Preceded by
Mike Riley
Grey Cup winning Head Coach
79th Grey Cup, 1991
Succeeded by
Wally Buono