Bob O'Billovich
Personal information
Date of birth: (1940-06-30) June 30, 1940 (age 80)
Place of birth: Butte, Montana
Career information
No regular season or postseason appearances
Career history
Roster status: Retired
Career highlights and awards
  • N/A

Robert O'Billovich, nicknamed "Obie", (born June 30, 1940 in Butte, Montana) is a former Canadian Football League player, coach and administrator.

A former NCAA college basketball player, Obie has been involved with the CFL since 1963 in the roles of player, coach, general manager, scout, and several front-office positions. He has a wife, Judy; and three children: Tracy, Jodi, and Coy. His younger brother, Jack "Mad Dog" O'Billovich, who died in 1995 of a heart condition, was an All-American at Oregon State who helped OSU get to the Rose Bowl in 1965.

NCAA college basketballEdit

After graduating from high school in Butte, Montana, O'Billovich went to Missoula, Montana to attend college.[1][2] O'Billovich is a former NCAA college basketball player for the University of Montana, playing from 1960 to 1962. He was named University of Montana Athlete of the Decade for 1960–1970, and inducted to the University of Montana Grizzly Athletic Hall of Fame in 1993.

Canadian Interuniversity Athletics UnionEdit

Bob O'Billovich was coach of the Carleton University Ravens CIAU men's basketball team from 1971 to 1973. From 1973 to 1974, O'Billovich served as head coach for the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees men's basketball team.

Canadian Football LeagueEdit

O'Billovich began his CFL career as a player in 1963 with the Ottawa Rough Riders. He played both defensive back and quarterback.

In 1974, O'Billovich launched his CFL coaching career with the Rough Riders, first as a guest coach, and then assistant coach.

O'Billovich was named head coach of the Toronto Argonauts in 1982, a position he held until 1989. During his tenure at Toronto, the Argonauts appeared in the Grey Cup three times (1982, 1983, 1987), winning the Cup in 1983. He was honoured as CFL Coach of the Year in 1982 and 1987.

Bob O'Billovich joined the BC Lions in midseason on September 14, 1990. The Lions had been off to a dismal 2–8 start that season; they finished the season with an improved 6–11 record. O'Billovich remained as head coach of the Lions through the end of the 1992 season, a year in which the Lions finished at 3–15.

In 1993, O'Billovich returned to the Argonauts as general manager. The Argos began that season poorly, and O'Billovich took over as head coach on September 10, 1993. He coached for the remainder of the 1993 season and for the entirety of the 1994 season. At the end of the 1994 season, O'Billovich relinquished the head coach position to concentrate on his general manager duties. The Argos again had a poor start for the 1995 season and O'Billovich took over as head coach for the final nine games; the team finished the season with a lackluster 4–14 record.

O'Billovich was director of player personnel with the BC Lions from 2003 to 2007. In December 2007, O'Billovich was hired as general manager by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.[3] On January 12, 2012, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats announced his promotion to Vice President of football operations.[4]


  • University of Montana Athlete of the Decade (1960–1970)[1]
  • Inducted to the University of Montana Grizzly Athletic Hall of Fame in 1993
  • CFL Coach of the Year (1982, 1987)
  • Grey Cup champion coach (1983)
  • All-time winningest coach for the Argonauts (89–79–3 in 11 seasons)
Preceded by
Tommy Hudspeth
Toronto Argonauts Head Coaches
Succeeded by
Don Matthews
Preceded by
Jim Young
BC Lions Head Coaches
Succeeded by
Dave Ritchie
Preceded by
Dennis Meyer
Toronto Argonauts Head Coaches
Succeeded by
Mike Faragalli
Preceded by
Mike Faragalli
Toronto Argonauts Head Coaches
Succeeded by
Don Matthews

References Edit

  1. 1.0 1.1 Ferguson, Bob (1983). Who's Who in Canadian Sport. 4. Markham, ON and Allston, MA: Fitzhenry and Whiteside Ltd.. p. 329. ISBN 1-55041-855-6.
  2. Foley, Bill (August 23, 2008). "O'Billovich Pays A Visit". Montana Standard. Retrieved August 27, 2011.
  3. "Bob O'Billovich tabbed as Tiger-Cats GM". 2007-12-04. Retrieved 2007-12-05.
  4. Ticats promote O'Billovich to VP of Football Ops

External linksEdit

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