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Reinebold a changed man

Has grown since days as Bomber head coach

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Don't expect Jeff Reinebold to pull up to the Montreal Alouettes' offices riding a Harley and wearing flip-flops.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 05/02/2012 (3953 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Don’t expect Jeff Reinebold to pull up to the Montreal Alouettes’ offices riding a Harley and wearing flip-flops.

Announced as the team’s new defensive co-ordinator Friday, Reinebold says he’s grown as a person, and as a coach, since his last stint in the CFL in 1998 with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

“We all have changed, we’ve all grown, hopefully, and we’ve all evolved in the 20 or so years since I first went (to the CFL),” Reinebold said from Phoenix on Saturday. “You live for today and tomorrow. You don’t let your past define you, whether it was positive or negative, because if you do that then you’re living in the past and I’m not interested in that.”

Joe Bryksa / Winnipeg Free Press archives Winnipeg Blue Bombers fans were saying ow after two seasons of Jeff Reinebold.

Reinebold, 54, began his CFL coaching career in 1991 as an assistant with the B.C. Lions. He also coached with the defunct Las Vegas Posse when Alouettes quarterback Anthony Calvillo was starting his CFL career.

He moved on to the Edmonton Eskimos and had another stint with the Lions in 1996 as defensive co-ordinator before the Bombers hired him the following year as their head coach and general manager.

Reinebold brought a flashy persona to the city with his bleached-blond hair, tattoos and motorcycle. He often wore flip-flops to practices, played Bob Marley’s music over the stadium’s loudspeakers and had a strong fan following.

But he was fired late in the 1998 season after guiding the team to a 6-26 record and was replaced by Gary Hoffman.

“I loved my time in Winnipeg,” Reinebold said. “Even though we didn’t have the success on the field, we had a locker-room that was indivisible.

“The success would have come eventually because of what we had established in the locker-room, but they just didn’t have the patience to go through the process.”

After coaching and doing player development in Europe, Reinebold moved to the University of Hawaii. He then joined the Southern Methodist University Mustangs in Dallas and had been the receivers coach and a recruiter there since 2008.

At a national coaches convention in Texas last month, Reinebold sat down and reminisced about the CFL with coaches such as Scott Milanovich, Montreal’s former offensive co-ordinator and Toronto’s new head coach.

The memories started flooded back.

“There’s a bond that I’ve had that I’ve shared with that league and those players and those people for a long, long time,” Reinebold said.

He always thought about returning to the CFL under the right circumstances. When told about Montreal’s vacant defensive co-ordinator’s position, he decided to throw his hat into the ring.

The initial meeting with Als head coach Marc Trestman and some Montreal assistants boosted his interest.

“I came away from that really impressed,” Reinebold said. “They have built something really unique. The culture they have established in Montreal is really rare in any sport, but particularly in pro sport.

“I thought, ‘Wow, this is a pretty cool thing.’ And that was the beginning of it.”

After winning back-to-back Grey Cups, Montreal went 10-8 last season and lost 52-44 in overtime to Hamilton in the East Division semifinal.

Reinebold said he’s confident in Trestman and Als general manager Jim Popp, who “has been consistent in his ability to bring players to the franchise that can succeed in the Canadian game.”

“The bar has been established high there,” he said. “Our challenge is that we have to live within that culture of the standards they’ve established in the past and try and take it to another level.”

— The Canadian Press

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