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 74)
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)
19831988BC Lions (OC)
1989UBC Thunderbirds (HC)
1990Toronto Argonauts (OC)
19911992Toronto Argonauts (HC)
1993Edmonton Eskimos (OC)
1994Ottawa Rough Riders (HC)
1995Memphis Mad Dogs (OC)
1996Toronto Argonauts (OC)
19971998BC Lions (HC)
2002BC Lions (IHC)
2003Toronto Argonauts (OC)
2012–2015Trinity College School (AC/OC)
2012Prague Panthers (HC)
2013–2014Calanda Broncos (HC)
2016–2019Clarkson Secondary School (OC)
2017–2019Bergamo Lions (HC/OC)
2019Clarkson Secondary School (AC)
2020Berlin Adler (HC)
2021Barcelona 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 American football in Europe. He was the head coach of the Spanish professional team Barcelona Dragons, in the newly formed European League of Football in 2021.

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 where the team finished as league runner up losing in the Czech Bowl championship game.

In 2013–14, Rita served as the head coach of the Calanda Broncos in Switzerland Nationalliga A (American football) winning the Swiss Bowl championship in 2013 and finishing runner up losing in the Swiss bowl in 2014. The team also competed in the European Football League.

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, later rebranded as Barcelona Dragons, of the newly formed European League of Football.[11]

In 2022, Rita returned to the Bergamo Lions in Italy as head coach. The Lions are competing in the second tier of the Italian League.

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

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 record

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

References

  1. ^ Anderson, Dave (July 11, 1991). "Sports of The Times; At Last! The Rocket Is Sighted (Published 1991)". The New York Times.
  2. ^ http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Football/CFL/Toronto/2007/12/19/4732056-sun.html[dead link]
  3. ^ "CFL: Adam Rita Jumps To Memphis Mad Dogs (1995)". Archived from the original on December 21, 2021 – 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. ^ a b "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. ^ a b "Adam Rita continuing passion for coaching in retirement". May 30, 2020.
  9. ^ "COACH LIONS | LIONS BERGAMO". Archived from the original on July 26, 2019.
  10. ^ "Neuer Headcoach - AFC Berlin Adler e.V." Archived from the original on July 3, 2020.
  11. ^ "Long-time CFL coach, GM Adam Rita named head coach of new Spanish team". February 14, 2021.
  12. ^ a b 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 byMike Riley Grey Cup winning Head Coach 79th Grey Cup, 1991 Succeeded byWally Buono