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DEFENSIVE ASSISTANT

Richie Hall returns to the Blue Bombers in 2024 for his ninth season and first in his new role as a defensive assistant.

He had spent the previous eight years season as defensive coordinator, and continues his long association with the Canadian Football League, first as a player and then as a coach.

One of the most-respected men in the CFL, Hall has led a Blue Bombers defence which transformed into a dominant force over the last four seasons — a stretch that includes the club’s epic run to a championship in 2019, the 2021 season that culminated with another Grey Cup title, followed by championship game appearances in 2022 and 2023.

Hall has been part of five Grey Cup teams, winning four as a defensive coordinator (including 2007 and 2013 with Saskatchewan). He was also a key member of the Roughriders 1989 Grey Cup Championship team during his playing days.

Winnipeg’s defence has surrendered the fewest points in each of the last three seasons, including just 18.2 opponent points allowed per game in 2023. The Blue Bombers also ranked first in yards surrendered per game (298.8) last year, in passing yardage allowed per game (229.4 yards) and opponent completion percentage against (59.7). Winnipeg finished third in sacks with 53 and forced 43 turnovers, tied for third most in the CFL.

Hall’s ‘Dark Side’ defence was the backbone of the club’s last championship in 2021, as the Blue Bombers surrendered an average of 13.4 points per game this year — lowest in the CFL and the franchise’s fewest since allowing just 11.4 in 1958. The CFL officially tracks 28 defensive statistical categories and Winnipeg’s defence finished first in 15 of them and second in fourth others.

Looking back to the 2019 season and that memorable run that ended a long championship droung, the Bombers allowed just 39 points against in the three playoff games — limiting Calgary to 14 in the Western Semi-Final, Saskatchewan to 13 in the Western Final and Hamilton to 12 in the Grey Cup. At the same time the defence forced 14 turnovers in the playoffs, including seven in the championship game.

Hall saw major success with the Saskatchewan Roughriders prior to joining Winnipeg, winning the Grey Cup in 2013 while posting the league’s number-one ranked defence. The league-low 398 points allowed was the lowest total by the Riders since 2002 and second lowest total since the CFL moved to an 18-game schedule in 1986.

Previous to his time in Regina, Hall was the head coach of the Edmonton Eskimos for two seasons (2009, 2010), recording a 16-20 mark and making the playoffs in his first of two seasons there.

Hall was part of the Riders coaching staff for 15 seasons prior to joining Edmonton, spending eight years as defensive coordinator and developing a reputation for fielding a top defence year after year.

Before moving into his coaching role, Hall spent nine years playing in the CFL including four seasons with the Roughriders from 1988-1991. During his nine-year career, Hall saw action in 153 regular season CFL games. He was a member of the Western Division All-Star Team on four occasions; 1983 and 1986 with the Calgary Stampeders, and 1988 and 1990 in Saskatchewan. Hall was also named All-CFL for Outstanding Rookie Performance in 1983 with the Stampeders. In 1990, Roughrider fans voted Hall the Roughriders’ Most Popular Player. He was named as the club’s nominee for Outstanding Defensive Player in 1988.

Hall was born in San Antonio, Texas. He played college football at Colorado State University for the Rams and signed with the Stampeders as a free agent in 1983 following his college career.

With a continued commitment to community involvement, Hall was recognized by the CFLPA in 1990 by winning the Tom Pate award for his outstanding dedication to the CFL, the community and his performances on the field.