Redblacks head coach Rick Campbell not returning in 2020

Rick Campbell speaks after it was announced he will become the first coach for the new Ottawa Redblacks CFL football team at a press conference in Ottawa on Friday, Dec. 6, 2013. (Fred Chartrand/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Ottawa Redblacks head coach Rick Campbell is not returning in the 2020 season after six years with the organization. 

The announcement was made on Monday morning. The 48-year-old still had one more year left in his contract, but decided he could not continue as head coach after a difficult 3-15 season. 

Campbell has been the Redblacks' first and only head coach since the expansion season in 2014. He helped lead the team to the Grey Cup championship three times, winning the title in 2016. He was also named CFL's coach of the year in 2015.

In a press conference on Monday, Campbell appeared emotional and expressed his sadness in leaving the organization.

"I'd say I'm sorry, but I'm not sorry, I'm sad," said Campbell as he broke down in tears.

Campbell also said the decision to leave was difficult.

"I didn't think the status quo was best for the Redblacks going forward, and then decisions were made from there."

OSEG president and CEO Marc Goudie says Campbell's decision came as a surprise. 

"I respect Rick's decision. Rick's done so much for us laying the foundation for the return of professional football in Ottawa, and for that, I am eternally grateful."