In the wake of former football head coach Jacques Chapdelaine’s recent departure, SFU Athletics have narrowed their search for a replacement down to three candidates.
Among the frontrunners is Hamilton Tiger Cats special teams coordinator Jeff Reinebold, who is fresh off a Grey Cup appearance, with his Tiger Cats falling to the Calgary Stampeders.
Reinebold, a native of South Bend, IN, is no stranger to coaching in BC, having started his CFL coaching career as a wide receivers and special teams coach with the BC Lions in 1991. He had his only head coaching gig in the CFL with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the 1997 and 1998 seasons, where he also served as general manager.
He also has coaching experience at both the NCAA and NAIA levels. After this year’s Grey Cup appearance, Reinebold has been spending his time as an NFL analyst for the UK-based Sky Sports — most recently covering this year’s Super Bowl.
Throughout his career, Reinebold has been known as a highly regarded recruiter, and in 2007 was named one of the top 25 college recruiters in America by Rivals.com.
According to Sportsnet’s Arash Madani, this isn’t the first time that Reinebold has been in the running for the SFU head coaching job. Before Jacques Chapdelaine was hired last year, Madani tweeted that Reinebold was “intrigued” by the job.
The other two frontrunner’s names have not been released, according to sports information director Steve Frost, because “they are currently coaching at other NCAA schools.”
BC Lions receivers coach Khari Jones — who was recently demoted from offensive coordinator — and former Saskatchewan Roughriders defensive backs coach Barron Miles were also reported to be in an earlier shortlist, but they no longer appear to be in the running.
Frost noted that SFU Athletics is not rushing to any decisions.
“We would like to hire a new coach as quickly as possible but we want to take our time to make sure we get the right person,” he said in an email. “Since Jacques [Chapdelaine] left, it has been business as usual under the direction of the current staff. Off-season workouts and recruiting are continuing. There is not a sense of urgency, but we want to move as quickly as we can to find our next coach.”
Over both last week and this week, the candidates have been coming to Burnaby campus for further interviews, including meeting SFU Football alumni. The last of the three coaching candidates will make a campus visit today.