Ti­cats move June Jones to de­fen­sive co-or­di­na­tor af­ter rough start to sea­son.

The Hamilton Spectator - - FRONT PAGE - DREW ED­WARDS

With the team at 0-6 and giv­ing up a CFL-worst 39 points a game, the Hamil­ton Tiger-Cats have made a change at de­fen­sive co-or­di­na­tor.

Sources say the 59-year-old Jeff Reinebold, known pub­licly for his colour­ful per­son­al­ity and ALL CAPS ap­proach to so­cial me­dia, has been of­fered an­other po­si­tion within the or­ga­ni­za­tion — likely help­ing newly-hired as­sis­tant head coach June Jones.

As of Mon­day night, the move had yet to be of­fi­cially an­nounced by the club but Reinebold con­firmed his de­par­ture via a se­ries of Tweets on Mon­day af­ter­noon.

“TIME TO SAY ALOHA — TO EVERY PLAYER WHO GAVE SO MUCH ... I LOVE YOU ... LIKE WE TALKED ABOUT AF­TER THE EE GAME — YOU WILL WIN BE­CAUSE OF THE KIND OF MEN YOU ARE — IT WAS A BLAST WAYCHING YOU GROW,” Reinebold Tweeted.

“TO EVERY @Ti­cats WHO CHEERED SO LOUD MAHALO FOR AN AMAZ­ING 5 YEARS.”

Team CEO Scott Mitchell Tweeted later Mon­day that the team was hold­ing out hope that Reinebold would stay with the club in some ca­pac­ity.

“Jeff is an out­stand­ing coach and a ter­rific per­son. We are hop­ing he will stay with the or­ga­ni­za­tion. “More to come we hope,” he wrote.

Reinebold will be re­placed by lineback­ers coach Phillip Lol­ley, who joined the Ti­cats this sea­son af­ter spend­ing three years in Ed­mon­ton and Saskatchewan with Chris Jones (the two won a ti­tle to­gether with the Esks in 2015.)

Be­fore com­ing to the CFL, the 63-year-old Alabama na­tive spent more than a decade with the Auburn Tigers of the NCAA as both a de­fen­sive coach and front of­fice staff mem­ber and was part of the 2011 na­tional cham­pi­onship squad.

Sources said Lol­ley was a can­di­date for the de­fen­sive co-or­di­na­tor po­si­tion in the off-sea­son af­ter the de­par­ture of Or­londo Stein­auer but the job went to Reinebold, who had been with vice pres­i­dent of foot­ball op­er­a­tions and head coach Kent Austin since he ar­rived in Hamil­ton be­fore the 2013 sea­son.

Reinebold spent four largely suc­cess­ful sea­sons as the spe­cial

teams co-or­di­na­tor, cook­ing up an ar­ray of blocks, rules-ori­ented gad­get plays and help­ing fa­cil­i­tate the suc­cess of re­turn man Bran­don Banks.

He was twice named the East Di­vi­sion’s Most Out­stand­ing Spe­cial Teams player.

But the de­fence had strug­gled might­ily un­der Reinebold’s di­rec­tion.

They are last in the CFL in points al­lowed (39.0 per game), net of­fence al­lowed (460 yards) and yards per play (7.5) and have given up 30 points or more in every game this sea­son.

The team is win­less and com­ing off a two-game West Di­vi­sion road trip that in­cluded a 60-1 loss at the hands of the Cal­gary Stam­ped­ers.

While Reinebold cer­tainly de­serves a sig­nif­i­cant share of the blame for his unit’s per­for­mance, there are other fac­tors as well. De­fen­sive half­backs Ab­dul Kan­neh and Emanuel Davis, both all-stars last year, have missed most of the sea­son, with Kan­neh play­ing two quar­ters of foot­ball be­fore suf­fer­ing yet an­other in­jury.

Other de­fen­sive stal­warts, in­clud­ing line­backer Si­moni Lawrence and de­fen­sive end John Chick, have seen their pro­duc­tion drop sig­nif­i­cantly so far in 2017.

Reinebold served as a re­ceivers coach un­der Jones at the Amer­i­can col­lege level so he could play a role in help­ing with his tran­si­tion into the Ti­cats cul­ture.

But Reinebold also has op­por­tu­ni­ties out­side of coach­ing: for the last sev­eral sea­sons, he has served as NFL an­a­lyst and pod­caster for SKY Sports in the United King­dom and the tele­vi­sion net­work has asked him to ex­pand his role in the past.

CANA­DIAN PRESS FILE PHOTO

Hamil­ton Tiger-Cats colour­ful de­fen­sive co-or­di­na­tor Jeff Reinebold is shown here yelling at a ref­eree in a game in Ed­mon­ton last Oc­to­ber.

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