Nashua’s LaPolice a head coach in the CFL once again
It’s been quite a few weeks for Nashua’s Paul LaPolice.
The former Canadian Football League Coach of the Year, who just won a Grey Cup as the offensive coordinator of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, is a head coach in the CFL again.
LaPolice was named earlier this week as the new coach of the Ottawa Redblacks. It will be the Nashua High School and Plymouth State alum’s second head coaching job in the CFL, his first being in Winnipeg from 2010-12 with one Grey Cup appearance. He had been a Winnipeg assistant in the past along with stints in Tornoto, Hamilton, and Saskatchewan.
In his latest stint with Winnipeg, LaPolice was instrumental in the Bombers signing Nashua South and University of New Hampshire alum Trevor Knight as a reserve QB in September. Knight was active for a handful of games as a backup, splitting time between the regular roster and the practice squad, but not active for the Grey Cup win.
“I’m happy as hell to be here,” LaPolice said at his introductory press conference in Ottawa, and added that he’s changed “in a thousand ways) since he was a head coach in Winnipeg for a Blue Bombers team that lost in the 2011 Grey Cup 34-23 to British Columbia.
“I’m a better football coach,” LaPolice said. “I’ve had more experiences.”
LaPolice faces a challenge, as Ottawa was arguably the worst team in the CFL this past season at 3-15, scoring just 318 points, nearly 200 less than the Winnipeg offense he was in charge of.
“We will leave no stone unturned in our game planning, our preparation and our willingness to work on a daily basis to put us in a position to win championships,” LaPolice said. “I expect our team to play fast, to play physical, to have fun and always worry about our process, not the end result.”
Knight, who is signed with Winnipeg for next season and an option for 2021, said hiring LaPolice was a no brainer for Ottaway.
“He’s so well prepared, and he’s just a gret football mind,” Knight said. “I’m not surprised he’s going to be a head coach. His attenion to detail is what you need at the professional level. He was by far the best (offensive coordinator) in the CFL.”
Amherst’s Knight says he’ll definitely miss working with LaPolice. “It stinks not having him around, I’ll ,miss working with him, him being another New Hampshire guy north of the border,” he said.
“I’m going to go about my business. I got the workout program from the strength and conditioning coach today, so I think I’m good for next year.”