SPORTS

Adam Rita returns to sidelines with Prague Panthers of Austrian Football League

01/16/2012 08:13 EST | Updated 03/17/2012 05:12 EDT
TORONTO - Adam Rita is returning to the sidelines in 2012 — just not in the Canadian Football League.

The Prague Panthers, based in the Czech Republic, announced on Monday that Rita would be joining them as head coach and manager for the 2012 season.

"I am too passionate about the game of football to not continue being involved," said Rita in a statement. "The Prague opportunity will not only allow me to help build the sport in Europe, but I welcome the opportunity to work within the 'football club' environment as I continue to expand my experiences."

Rita was the general manager of the Toronto Argonauts from 2004 to 2010.

The Argos announced on Dec. 15 2010 that the team would not renew his contract as GM and vice-president of football operations, opening the door for head coach Jim Barker to add both titles to his portfolio.

Before that, Rita served as head coach of the B.C. Lions in 1997, 1998 and 2002. He coached the Ottawa Rough Riders in 1994 and Toronto for the 1991 and 1992 seasons.

Rita won his only Grey Cup in 1991, his debut as a head coach.

The Panthers joined the Austrian Football League in 2011 after playing in the Czech league for 20 years. Prague won the Czech championship 12 times.

Internationally, the team has played in the European Football League. The Panthers are currently ranked ninth in all of Europe.

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