Veteran CFL Head Coach Adam Rita Returns To Europe With Italy’s Bergamo Lions

The winner of six Grey Cup titles in the Canadian Football League as a head coach, coordinator and general manager, Adam Rita is heading back to Europe to take the reins as head coach of Italy’s Bergamo Lions.

Rita is no stranger to football in Europe. A Hawaii native and Boise State alum, he has also coached the Prague Black Panthers in the Czech Republic (2012) and Switzerland’s Calanda Broncos (2014).

With a coaching resume that would fill a book, Rita is a household name in Canadian football circles. He has coached the BC Lions, Edmonton Eskimos, Toronto Argonauts, Ottawa Rough Riders and Memphis Mad Dogs either as head coach or offensive coordinator. He also served as general manager and gained a reputation for success. He has won Grey Cups (emblematic of Canadian football supremacy) with the BC Lions, Edmonton Eskimos and Toronto Argonauts as either a coordinator, head coach or general manager.

At the college level Rita served as either a position coach or coordinator with Boise State University (his alma mater), University of Nevada Las Vegas, University of Hawaii and Canada’s University of British Columbia.

TORONTO OUT Argonauts-August 16, 2006-Toronto Argonauts, QB Damon Allen and GM Adam Rita, and intern offensive co-ordinator by committee, chat during Wednesday's team practice at UofT's Erindale campus August 16, 2006. (Tannis Toohey/ TORONTO STAR)

Photo: Tannis Toohey, TORONTO STAR

The Bergamo Lions have suffered through back-to-back subpar seasons. They finished 1-9 in 2016 in Italy’s North division and 3-7 in 2015 and according to them are looking to restore their reputation as one of the premier teams in Italy.

“I am excited about working with Bergamo. The Bergamo Lions have a great organization and reputation and I hope to help them return to the top echelons in Italy. I have coached in Europe before and I know how far football has come.”

Complete Football Summary:

Forty-five years of coaching experience and management
Recruiting coordinator, offensive coordinator, defensive coordinator, special teams coordinator, general manager


27 years, Offensive Coordinator, Head Coach, General Manager
8 Grey Cup appearances, 6 Grey Cup Championships, three as offensive coordinator, first as Head Coach, 2 as General Manager


1985 Grey Cup Team BC LIONS, inducted into BC SPORTS HALL OF FAME and LIONS WALL OF FAME
1990 CFL all-time scoring record, offensive coordinator, Toronto Argonauts
1991 CFL Coach of the Year, Toronto Argonauts
1995 Selected as one of the most influential men in Canada by Chatelaine Magazine, February issue
1997 CFLPA Coach of the Year (selected by the players in the league). BC Lions.


14 years as offensive coordinator, recruiting coordinator, defensive coordinator.
Boise State University, University Of Nevada Las Vefas, University of Hawaii, and the University of British Columbia
6 national playoff appearances, ranked in the National Top 20, 10 times. League Champion 3 times (BIG SKY)

High School & Other:

3 years, Trinity College School, Port Hope, Ontario
Europe, 2 seasons

Chronological Experience:

2016 to Present – Clarkson Football North, Assistant Head Coach, Offensive
2012 to 2016 – Trinity College School, Assistant Head Coach and Offensive Coordinator recruiter
2014- February to July, Calanda Broncos, Swiss Football League, Head Coach
2012- February to August, Prague Panthers, Czech and Austrian League. Head Coach
2011-took the year off to get my knee Replaced
2010-2003- Toronto Argonauts, General Manager and Vice President of Football Operations.
2004 Grey Cup Champions
2002-1997- BC Lions, General Manager / Head Coach. 2000 Grey Cup Champions
1996 Toronto Argonauts, Offensive Coordinator. Grey Cup Champions.
1995- Memphis Mad Dogs (CFL), Director of Football Operations, Assistant Head Coach, Offensive Coordinator, and Special Teams Coordinator. New franchises, inaugural season record 9-9
1994-Ottawa Roughriders, Director of Football Operations and Head Coach
1993- Edmonton Eskimos, Offensive Coordinator, Grey Cup Champions
1992-1990- Toronto Argonauts, Offensive Coordinator and Head Coach, 1991 Grey Cup Champions. Coach of the Year. 1990 CFL scoring record.
1992- Trinity College School, assistant coach. League champions.
1989- University of British Columbia, Defensive Coordinator
1988-1983- BC Lions, Offensive coordinator, three Grey Cup appearances, 1985 Grey Cup champions
1982 – 1979- University of Hawaii, receivers coach, offensive coordinator and recruiting coordinator. Ranked 16th in the nation. Guest Coach w / BC Lions.
1978-1976 – University of Nevada Las Vegas, Quarterbacks, receivers coach and recruiting coordinator. 2 national playoffs appearances, nationally ranked, tops on offense. Guest Coach BC Lions.
1975-1969- Boise State University, coached the Following positions, at one time or other here, offensive line, receivers, running backs, quarterbacks and recruiting coordinator. Head JV coach 8-3 record. League champions three times, three national playoff appearances, ranked nationally every year but one. Top league and nationally on offense, total offense, passing and scoring.


Certified lecturer / instructor for Football Canada for levels of certification
Football BC-vice president of programs. Managed the Senior Bowl Top 100, 12th graders
Started and coached the Maurice Cody Public School (Totonto), Grade 6, co-ed flag football program, played in the city championship game
Worked in many football camps in Canada, volunteered (do not accept fees)

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