Charly Cardilicchia’s short, and tumultuous, era as head coach of the Westshore Rebels has come to an end.
Cardilicchia went from being named 2017 B.C. Football Conference coach of the year, for leading the Rebels to a 9-1 regular-season record and into the Cullen Cup final, to resigning on Monday.
Defensive co-ordinator Shane Beatty steps up to take over the Rebels head coaching role for the rest of the season.
The mercurial Cardilicchia was in the midst of a three-game suspension, assessed by the BCFC, for pointed remarks he made in the media regarding the league’s handling of a cancelled Rebels’ road game in Kamloops two weeks ago.
“It’s been a stressful week. In the end, the suspension did not reflect well,” said Cardilicchia.
“Due to the details surrounding my suspension, I feel it is better for the focus and direction of the Rebels program, if I step down as head coach.”
He added his relationship with senior team management was “not healthy for us anymore . . . but that’s sports.”
Cardilicchia managed to keep the Rebels winning tradition alive in his short term since taking over from former head coach J.C. Boice, who had guided Westshore to the 2016 BCFC Cullen Cup championship and into the Canadian Bowl final.
“I recruited a lot of these players and have close connections to the kids and I wish the best for them and the team,” said Cardilicchia.
“I’ve left the team in a good place in terms of talent, and now I hope they can finish it off with [a championship]. The team is in good hands with coach Beatty and the staff I assembled.”
The suspension wasn’t the first time Cardilicchia was reprimanded by the league this season. He was sanctioned, but not suspended, in June for what the league said were disparaging remarks against other BCFC coaches and teams on his personal Facebook page.
Beatty, meanwhile, has previous head coaching experience in the BCFC with the Okanagan Sun, twice being coach of the year, and guiding the Sun to the 2015 league championship. Kamloops-product Beatty, who joined the Rebels in 2016 as defensive co-ordinator under Boice, coached 23 years of university football in the U.S. Beatty was recruiting co-ordinator and assistant coach at Reedley College, defensive co-ordinator and head coach at West Virginia Tech, assistant director of football operations at Iowa State, and defensive co-ordinator and strength coach at the College of Sequoias. Beatty has also trained high school and collegiate wrestlers, Olympic sprinters and pro golfers.
Like Cardilicchia, who was a nervy and reliable receiver for the Rebels during his playing days, Beatty is also a Rebels alumnus, having played for the club as a linebacker in 1988 and 1989.
Cardilicchia was sitting out the first game of his suspension Saturday when the Rebels (1-1-1) were beaten 23-9 by the Vancouver Islander Raiders (3-1) in an ill-tempered, flag-filled Island derby game Saturday at Westhills Stadium. The rivals, who have a history of animosity dating to 2004, meet again Sept. 8 at Caledonia Park.