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Rick LeLacheur makes a comeback as Edmonton Elks interim president and CEO

Click to play video: 'Rick LeLacheur makes a comeback as Edmonton Elks interim president and CEO'
Rick LeLacheur makes a comeback as Edmonton Elks interim president and CEO
The Edmonton Elks are hoping to improve on what has been a difficult season, not only on the field but in the stands. The club is bringing back a familiar face to do so, Rick LeLacheur, as he takes over the position he held over a decade ago. Jasmine King reports. – Aug 22, 2023

Rick LeLacheur is returning to the Green and Gold as the Edmonton Elks’ president and CEO. LeLacheur, who previously held the title from 2002 to 2011, is returning as interim president and CEO effective immediately.

“We needed someone who had an understanding of football and an understanding of this community… He was the clear choice,” Elks board of directors’ chair Tom Richards said.

“I did not see this coming. The reason I’m here probably is because I’m a CFL lifer,” said LeLacheur.

At a news conference Tuesday, the Elks announced that LeLacheur is rejoining the club after most recently serving as president of the B.C. Lions from 2018 to 2022. He will guide the Elks until a permanent president and CEO is named before the end of 2023.

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‘Cleats of Strength’ adding enchantment to Elks home games

The Elks said LeLacheur’s successful history with the CFL and his credible reputation put him at the top of their shortlist of candidates for the job.

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Over the next four months, LeLacheur says he plans to take it game by game and his initial priorities on the team’s business side include a deep dive into the club’s financial situation.

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“It’s no secret that the team has been struggling and I’m not going to be able to flip a switch and change it overnight — this is a longer-term fix,” said LeLacheur.

LeLacheur did not mince his words and made it clear he is not interested in being a candidate for the permanent position but said he would help with choosing the new president.

“There are four games left at home — we’ve got to pay attention to that. In a couple weeks with the CFL, I’m sure we’re going to start the schedule for next year and the season seat renewals, so there is no shortage of work to do. But I think I can bring stability to the group,” said LeLacheur.

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During LeLacheur’s first tenure with the Green and Gold, he helped lead the club to Grey Cup championships in 2003 and 2005, and also hosted a pair of highly successful Grey Cup Festivals in 2002 and 2010. His duties also included serving as an alternate on the CFL board of governors as well as chairman of the CFL’s audit committee and a member of the league’s executive committee.

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“Over the years I’ve been rewarded with great memories and friendships from my time working in the CFL, including during my decade as President and CEO in Edmonton. I was humbled when I was approached with this opportunity, as it’s a chance for me to repay in some small way everything the Green and Gold has given me over the years,” LeLacheur said.

“His tremendous passion for the Club, proven track record, and the respect he holds from his peers across the CFL made him the perfect candidate. He’s the right person to lead our staff during this pivotal period in the Club’s history,” Richards said.

The team said they are in the early stages of a search for a permanent replacement, and they have put out requests for proposals with search firms and so far, they have received one proposal.

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