Leo’s new leader ready to win
Last week Wally Buono announced that his defensive coordinator would be stepping up as his replacement for head coach of the B.C. Lions.
With over 20 years of coaching experience, here are five reasons why Mike Benevides will likely excel in leading the Pride:
1. He had a lot to do with our Grey Cup victory
Under the direction of Benevides, the Lions’ defensive line allowed fewer points than any other CFL team last season.
On top of that, the Lions have had more forced more turnovers and total sacks than any team over the past four years.
2. He knows how to spot talent
Benevides has taken a liking to scouting at the annual CFL Canadian Draft for the past six seasons, and has since been called one of the league’s best evaluators. With an eye for starting players, he’s helped choose athletes who have contributed greatly to the B.C. Lions’ progress and the quality of the CFL overall.
3. He’s dedicated to the team
A Toronto native, Mike turned down an offer three years ago to become head coach of the Argos. Instead he stuck with the organization he’s been a part of since 2003, and held out with the hope of moving on to replace Wally, somewhat of a mentor in his CFL career.
Benevides previously served as special teams coordinator and linebackers coach for five seasons before moving on to defensive coordination with the Lions in 2008.
4. He’s in it to win
Our new head coach is highly driven and determined to win – something so necessary after coming off of a Grey Cup high. “We have a tremendous opportunity here to set a dynasty in place,” he told reporters after the announcement was made last week.
Benevides knows what it takes to make it to the Grey Cup, and will work tirelessly with the team to see to it that the Lions are playing at next year’s championship in Toronto.
5. Benevides & Buono are a cohesive unit
Mike began his career under Wally with the Calgary Stampeders. Passion and intensity unite them, along with caring about each player personally.
With a similar work ethic and understanding of the game, they’ll likely work closely to ensure the Lions continue their reign as best of the best in the CFL.