Ottawa Renegades

Ottawa Renegades
Founded 2002
Suspended 2006
Folded 2008
Based in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Home field Frank Clair Stadium
Division East Division
Colours Black, red, white, pewter, and tan
Nickname(s) Gades
Mascot(s) Ruffy the Beaver

Ottawa Renegades was the name of a Canadian Football League team based in Ottawa, Ontario founded in 2002, six years after the storied Ottawa Rough Riders folded. After four seasons, the Renegades franchise was suspended indefinitely by the league due to financial instability, and its players were absorbed by the other teams in a dispersal draft.

After two years in limbo, a new franchise was awarded to Jeff Hunt, best known as the owner of the Ottawa 67's, in March 2008. The new franchise was revived in 2014 as the Ottawa Redblacks. Hunt chose not to reuse the Renegades nickname or franchise history, therefore leaving the Renegade franchise as being contracted.[1]


Ottawa Renegades uniform: 2002–2004

The Ottawa Renegades returned Canadian Football League action to Canada's capital in 2002. Ottawa had been without a team since 1996, when the Ottawa Rough Riders folded. The logo chosen draws similarities to the logo used by the Rough Riders for much of their existence up until 1992. The Renegades played four seasons and never qualified for the playoffs. In May 2005, Bernard Glieberman (former owner of the Rough Riders and the CFL USA's Shreveport Pirates) took ownership of the team, and made his son Lonie Glieberman team president, and many of the same names they had employed during the unsuccessful years of Glieberman's ownership of their previous teams started reappearing (for example, Bjorn Nittmo, by this point severely brain-damaged and out of football since 1998, was brought in as a potential kicker in the 2005 season). The team's only head coach was Joe Paopao. On November 7, 2005, the Ottawa Renegades announced John Jenkins as head coach and General Manager for 2006, with Forrest Gregg serving as the team's Executive VP for football. However, this did not occur because of the suspension of the team's operations.

The organization has become known for its devoted fan following, an informal group called "Renegade Nation". Local newspaper stories have noted their activities, which have included raising funds for players fined by the CFL or the team, as well as tailgating more than 12 hours before game time (uncommon in CFL cities) with players and coaches frequently dropping by before or after the game.

On March 3, 2006, Lonie Glieberman resigned from day-to-day operations of the team, acknowledging that he made mistakes during his tenure.

Johnny Scott presents a Renegades jersey to U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice at the American Embassy in 2005.

With the team losing $3.8 million in 2005, and the possibility of losing an additional $2.3 million to $5.8 million in 2006, the organization requested financial assistance from the CFL, which the league was not willing to provide. On March 22, 2006, Bernie Glieberman decided to stop funding the Renegades. While the CFL previously took over operations of the Toronto Argonauts and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in 2003, on April 9, 2006, the CFL's board of governors decided not to do that for the Renegades. The CFL started looking for a new owner.[2][3]

The players of the Ottawa Renegades were dispersed to the remaining 8 CFL teams in a dispersal draft, with QB Kerry Joseph going #1 to the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

Steelback Brewery president Frank D'Angelo announced in April 2006 that he was exploring opportunities to revive the team. The announcement was not cleared with the Canadian Football League, who indicated that they had had only one informal conversation with D'Angelo, in which no decision was made.[4]

On May 15, 2007, the CFL announced that it had ended discussions with a group led by William Palmer regarding the return of a CFL team to Ottawa for the 2008 season.[5]

CFL Commissioner Mark Cohon stated "[s]everal parties have expressed interest regarding a franchise for Ottawa, and we have decided to concentrate efforts on these new opportunities. The CFL remains committed to the City of Ottawa, and we remain determined to return a franchise to the nation’s capital only at a time and under circumstances that will ensure strength and stability in the long run".[6]

However, in September 2007, the lower south side of Frank Clair Stadium was closed, due to cracks in the concrete structure. Ottawa mayor Larry O'Brien was quoted at the time that this was an opportunity to do a review of the usage and the facilities of Lansdowne Park.

On March 25, 2008, the league ended the team's indefinite limbo by awarding the franchise to Jeff Hunt, owner of the Ottawa 67's. The team began play in 2014,[7] and did not retain the name Renegades because of its troubled history, instead being called the Ottawa Redblacks.


As of the end of the 2016 CFL season, Kyries Hebert was the last active former Renegade player still on a CFL team roster. Former Renegades Korey Banks, Kerry Joseph, Yo Murphy, Marc Parenteau, and Markus Howell have also gone on to be Grey Cup champions.[8]

Dan Crowley was the team's first starting quarterback.[9] Throughout 2002, backup quarterbacks, Chuck Clements and Oteman Sampson, also saw some starting time.[10][11][12] However, in 2003, Kerry Joseph, would be the quarterback to ultimately succeed Crowley.[13] During 2003, Romaro Miller also started at quarterback.[14] During 2004 and 2005, Joseph functioned as the primary starting quarterback. However, backups Darnell Kennedy and Brad Banks also saw time as the starter, in relief of Joseph.[15][16][17]

See also


  2. "CFL suspends operations of Renegades". 2006-04-09. Retrieved 2008-11-22.
  3. "Report: No CFL franchise in Ottawa in '07". 2008-09-28. Retrieved 2008-11-22.
  4. "CFL caught off guard with brewer's plans for 'Ottawa Steelback'". The Ottawa Citizen. 2006-04-27. Retrieved 2008-11-22.
  5. Renegades to RedBlacks: CFL's recent timeline in Ottawa from Ottawa Sun retrieved July 2014
  6. CFL ends talks on Ottawa bid from CBC Sports retrieved July 2014
  8. Busby, Ian (2009-08-04). "'Gades' parade of rings". Toronto Sun. Retrieved 2009-08-04.
  9. Zelkovich, Chris (2 July 2014). "10 reasons why the RedBlacks will be better than the Renegades". 55 Yard Line. Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved 10 November 2014.
  10. "Campbell: DeMarco patiently awaiting his turn". Ottawa Redblacks. 11 June 2014. Retrieved 10 November 2014.
  11. "Oteman Sampson". Just Sports Stats. Retrieved 10 November 2014.
  12. "Renegades agree to terms with two quarterbacks". CBC. 17 April 2002. Retrieved 10 November 2014.
  13. "Kerry Joseph". Canadian Football League Players Association. Retrieved 11 November 2014.
  14. "Romaro Miller". Just Sports Stats. Retrieved 10 November 2014.
  15. Williams, Fred. "Around the CFL: Time for Calgary to get started". The Sports Network. Retrieved 10 November 2014.
  16. "QB Darnell Kennedy rejoins Renegades". CBC. 12 June 2005. Retrieved 10 November 2014.
  17. "Brad Banks". Just Sports Stats. Retrieved 10 November 2014.
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