Vic Rapp mourned

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B.C.FAN
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Wed Oct 26, 2016 12:28 pm

Vic Rapp, who was hired by Bob Ackles as head coach of the Lions and brought the teams back to respectability in his six seasons at the helm from 1977-82, has died in Florida at age 80.

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"I think [Fred Fateri] was like a lot of people who watch football, hockey or any professional sport on television. They sit there and think they could coach better than the professional. Some people really think that." - Bob Ackles, The Water Boy

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Wed Oct 26, 2016 12:50 pm

Sad to hear of his passing, he really brought the team out of the doldrums to respectability by assembling some great players and lofty expectations.

Warm thoughts to family and friends, Rest in Peace
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TheLionKing
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Wed Oct 26, 2016 2:25 pm

Very sorry to hear of his passing. Very emotional coach. Calls it the way he sees it. One of my favourite coaches.

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SammyGreene
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Wed Oct 26, 2016 2:57 pm

A sad day.
Was 12 when he arrived in BC and had a big part in the passion I developed for this team. Instantly turned the Lions into a solid contender and it was rather unfortunate it was mainly in the shadow of the Eskimos dynasty. Nearly knocked them off in the 1981 Western Final. Wore his heart on his sleeve and symbolized to me what a football coach was. Still remember the 30 minute weekly recap show he did on CBC with JP McConnell. Those were the days.
Had a terrific eye for talent too. Basically built the great team Don Matthews inherited in 1983.

RIP Mr Rapp

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Wed Oct 26, 2016 3:24 pm

Sad news. He took over a mess and turned things around before Matthews came in and finished off the job. Rapp didn't get the credit he deserved IMO

I feel fortunate that I got the opportunity to meet him and watch him coach, as I worked a development camp for him. Best coach I ever saw coach the running game. Precise, a tremendous focus on footwork, perfectionistic. He really knew his football.

I wonder if CFL fans remember what a good offensive coordinator he was in Edmonton. Edmonton went to the Grey Cup four times with Rapp as their OC.

Ackles hired him to be our HC in B.C. Who can forget the Cardiac Kids. Rapp played an important role in their creation.

Rapp was tough but he was also thoughtful. He was Coach of the Year in 1977, in his first season as our HC, leading our Lions to a 10-6 record. He just couldn't beat Edmonton in the WDF and it was tough luck for Rapp that Edmonton was so good at that time.

Rapp went on to have a very successful career as an NFL assistant coach with a number of teams.

I'll remember Vic Rapp well and gratefully. Rest in Peace Vic.
"When I went to Catholic high school in Philadelphia, we just had one coach for football and basketball. He took all of us who turned out and had us run through a forest. The ones who ran into the trees were on the football team". (George Raveling)

TheLionKing
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Wed Oct 26, 2016 4:12 pm

Henry Holt used to drive Rapp nuts with his potential but too many brain farts.

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Wed Oct 26, 2016 6:16 pm

I believe you mean Harry Holt. The Cardiac Kids. Jerry Tagge, Larry Key and company.
As others have said, Vic Rapp built a large portion of the team that Don Matthews inherited. 6 years of not beating Edmonton, never getting quite over the hump, BC Place opening = a new sherriff had to be hired.
Forgot he was the OC in Edmonton during their glory days. So he would have worked very closely with Matthews, his successor. I wonder how the Don's health is these days.
RIP Coach, and condolences to his family.

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WestCoastJoe
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Wed Oct 26, 2016 6:24 pm

One of my faves.

Tough guy. Even the other coaches were afraid of his wrath.

At one of his dark times, I sent him a note of sympathy and appreciation. He wrote a very gracious response.

It was very gratifying to see how happy he was when Ackles had that reunion of coaches and players.

RIP in football heaven. :thup:
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Sir Purrcival
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Wed Oct 26, 2016 6:48 pm

He was a good guy but I also remember some warts too. Like when he complained about an opponent running up the score. From then it always seemed that the Lions under his leadership would stop playing if they ever got too far ahead. Also after his departure I remember hearing some players talking about how his religion seemed to be relevant to his coaching. General belief was that players thought they had better chances making the team if they went to his church etc. etc. Not trying to criticize the man. He was a big piece of BC Lions history and the solid teams that we had in the mid 80's although he was gone by then. Peace to him and his family.
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Wed Oct 26, 2016 9:03 pm

Sir Purrcival wrote:He was a good guy but I also remember some warts too. Like when he complained about an opponent running up the score. From then it always seemed that the Lions under his leadership would stop playing if they ever got too far ahead. Also after his departure I remember hearing some players talking about how his religion seemed to be relevant to his coaching. General belief was that players thought they had better chances making the team if they went to his church etc. etc. Not trying to criticize the man. He was a big piece of BC Lions history and the solid teams that we had in the mid 80's although he was gone by then. Peace to him and his family.
He was religious but he didn't push it on anyone nor do I believe it would have been a factor in his personell decision making. But he didn't want boozing, partying players and I don't blame him.
"When I went to Catholic high school in Philadelphia, we just had one coach for football and basketball. He took all of us who turned out and had us run through a forest. The ones who ran into the trees were on the football team". (George Raveling)

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David
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Wed Oct 26, 2016 11:42 pm

Very sorry to learn of Coach Rapp's passing, but nice to hear everyone's recollections. Here's mine.

* He and Jerry Tagge saved the Leos in 1977. The club was bleeding red ink after years of losing. They convinced a highly touted Nebraska quarterback turned NFL journeyman in Jerry Tagge to come up to Vancouver and, with a decent supporting cast and some exciting players (Leon Bright, Ken Hinton, Joe Fourqurean, and a veteran Jim Young), gave the club its first winning season since 1964.

* I'll never forget the day he had to be physically restrained by his players from going after Hugh Campbell. Vic was convinced Gluey Hughey's dreaded Eskimos had run up the score on us at Commonwealth.

* Most loved his no-nonsense approach to coaching. But Vic was a tough taskmaster. He'd work our Leos so hard we often came flying out of the gates, but had nothing left in the tank in October.

* True story. Vic Rapp was not actually our first choice to coach the Leos! Bob Ackles had an agreement in place for Leo Cahill to come west. But we got "Foley'd." Leo went back to the Argos and got himself a sweeter deal at the 11th hour.....just when he was going to come out to Vancouver to sign the deal. We got the last laugh though. BC skunked the Argos the first time we faced them in '77, 30-0! The crowd of 24,873 that August night serenaded him with "Goodbye Leo" (sung to the tune of "Goodnight Ladies").

Good times. RIP Vic!

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Fri Oct 28, 2016 1:33 pm

RIP to Vic. Condolences to his family and friends.

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