Adam Rita

Last updated

Adam Rita
Barcelona Dragons (ELF)
AdamRita.jpg
Adam Rita at the Argos' practice facility on June 14, 2009.
Born: (1947-09-21) September 21, 1947 (age 73)
Kauai, Hawaii
Career information
Position(s) Head coach
Career history
As administrator
19972002 BC Lions (GM)
20042010 Toronto Argonauts (GM)
As coach
1969–1976 Boise State Broncos (AC)
1977–1978 UNLV Rebels (AC)
1979–1982 Hawaii Rainbow Warriors (AC)
19831988 BC Lions (OC)
1989 UBC Thunderbirds (HC)
1990 Toronto Argonauts (OC)
19911992 Toronto Argonauts (HC)
1993 Edmonton Eskimos (OC)
1994 Ottawa Rough Riders (HC)
1995 Memphis Mad Dogs (OC)
1996 Toronto Argonauts (OC)
19971998 BC Lions (HC)
2002 BC Lions (IHC)
2003 Toronto Argonauts (OC)
2012–2015 Trinity College School (AC/OC)
2012 Prague Panthers (HC)
2013–2014 Calanda Broncos (HC)
2016–2019 Clarkson Secondary School (OC)
2017–2019 Bergamo Lions (HC/OC)
2019 Clarkson Secondary School (AC)
2020 Berlin Adler (HC)
2021–present Barcelona Dragons (ELF) (HC)
Career highlights and awards
As coach
As executive

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 retiring from the CFL in 2012, Rita has been coaching gridiron football in Europe while concurrently coaching high school football in Canada. He is currently the head coach of the Spanish professional team Barcelona Dragons (ELF), in the newly formed ELF.

Contents

College playing career

From 1965 to 1968, Rita attended Boise State University playing center for the Boise State Broncos. [1]

NCAA coaching career

From 1969 to 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 football

In 1983, Rita began his first professional coaching tenure as the offensive co-ordinator for the B.C. Lions under head coach Don Matthews. [2]

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. [3]

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. [4]

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 retired from the CFL and turned to high school football coaching, becoming an assistant coach & offensive coordinator with the Trinity College School football team in Port Hope, Ontario. [5] [6]

In 2016, Rita moved from Trinity College School to the "Football North" program at Clarkson Secondary School in Mississauga as their assistant coach and offensive coordinator. [6] [7] In 2019, Rita was elevated to assistant head coach.

Coaching career in Europe

After retiring from the Canadian Football League in 2012, Rita discovered Europlayers.com which serves as a job website for European sports. [8] This led to his first European coaching job in 2012 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 2017–19, Rita served as the head coach and offensive coordinator of the Bergamo Lions of the Italian Football League. [9]

In 2020, Rita was named as the new head coach for the Berlin Adler of the German Football League 2. [10] Unfortunately, the 2020 season was not played due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2021, Rita was named as the first ever head coach for the Spanish-based team, Gladiators Football, of the newly formed European League of Football. [11]

Personal life

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 is married to his wife Judit who is from Hungary. [12] [8] .He also has two sons, Kevin and Harrison, and two grandchildren, Seth and Jennifer. [13] As of 2020, Rita and his wife reside in Mississauga, Ontario. [12]

CFL GM record

TeamYearRegular SeasonPost Season
WonLostTiesWin %FinishWonLostResult
BC 1997 8100.4444th in West Division01Lost in East Semi-Final
BC 1998 990.5003rd in West Division01Lost in West Semi-Final
BC 1999 1350.7501st in West Division01Lost in West Final
BC 2000 8100.4443rd in West Division30Won Grey Cup
BC 2001 8100.4443rd in West Division01Lost in West Semi-Final
BC 2002 1080.7503rd in West Division01Lost in West Semi-Final
TOR 2003 990.5002nd in West Division11Lost in East Final
TOR 2004 1071.5882nd in East Division30Won Grey Cup
TOR 2005 1170.6111st in East Division01Lost in East Final
TOR 2006 1080.5562nd in East Division11Lost in East Final
TOR 2007 1170.6111st in East Division01Lost in East Final
TOR 2008 4140.2223rd in East Division--Failed to Qualify
TOR 2009 3150.1674th in East Division--Failed to Qualify
TOR 2010 990.5003rd in East Division11Lost in East Final
Total1221281.4883 Division
Championships
9102 Grey Cups

CFL coaching record

TeamYearRegular SeasonPost Season
WonLostTiesWin %FinishWonLostResult
TOR 1991 1350.7221st in East Division20Won Grey Cup
TOR 1992 380.2734th in East DivisionFired Midseason
OTT 1994 4140.2224th in East Division01Lost in East Semi-Final
BC 1997 8100.4444th in West Division01Lost in Division Semifinals
BC 1998 260.2504th in West DivisionResigned Midseason
BC 2002 930.7503rd in West Division01Lost in Division Semifinals
Total40460.4651 Division
Championships
231 Grey Cup

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References

  1. Anderson, Dave (July 11, 1991). "Sports of The Times; At Last! The Rocket Is Sighted (Published 1991)" via NYTimes.com.
  2. http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Football/CFL/Toronto/2007/12/19/4732056-sun.html
  3. "CFL: Adam Rita Jumps To Memphis Mad Dogs (1995)" via www.youtube.com.
  4. "Argos' Coach Barker Adds General Manager Role; Rita Out". TSN.ca. Retrieved December 15, 2010.
  5. "Grey Cup-winning coach adds talents to TCS football squad | Trinity College School". www.tcs.on.ca.
  6. 1 2 "Veteran CFL Head Coach Adam Rita Returns To Europe With Italy's Bergamo Lions". American Football International. August 17, 2016. Retrieved March 18, 2021.
  7. "Coaches". clarksonfootballnorth.ca.
  8. 1 2 "Adam Rita continuing passion for coaching in retirement". May 30, 2020.
  9. http://www.lionsbergamo.it/1/coach_lions_4439630.html
  10. https://www.berlinadler.de/2020/07/02/neuer-headcoach-2/
  11. "Long-time CFL coach, GM Adam Rita named head coach of new Spanish team". February 14, 2021.
  12. 1 2 Press, Dan Ralph The Canadian. "Former CFL coach/GM Rita feeling sad for Italy's COVID-19 pandemic anguish". The Chronicle-Journal.
  13. Sports, KSMG. "Former CFL GM and Head Coach Adam Rita Joins KSMG Football Team". Bleacher Report.
Awards
Preceded by
Mike Riley
Grey Cup winning Head Coach
79th Grey Cup, 1991
Succeeded by
Wally Buono