January 18, 2012

Claybrooks announces retirement

Calgary Stampeders import defensive lineman DeVone Claybrooks has announced his retirement from playing professional football.

Claybrooks, 34, spent the past three seasons with the Stampeders and was a member of the Montreal Alouettes for two seasons before that. Over his five-year CFL career, Claybrooks played 75 regular-season games and recorded 161 tackles and 14 sacks and recovered two fumbles. Claybrooks_110915.jpg

“I want to thank the Calgary Stampeders organization for three great seasons,” said Claybrooks. “Football is my passion and the Stampeders and Alouettes gave me the opportunity to do something I loved every day.”

The Stampeders also announced on Wednesday that Claybrooks will continue to be a member of the organization as he has agreed to become the team’s defensive line coach. In 2011, Claybrooks was one of the leaders on the defensive line, playing 15 regular-season games and one playoff game. His leadership was evident throughout the season as Claybrooks coached several of the Stamps’ young linemen.

“Moving into the coaching ranks is a natural progression in my career,” said Claybrooks. “My goal was to coach and to be able to stay in Calgary, so I’m obviously thrilled.”

>> More: Claybrooks joins defensive staff

Stampeders head coach and general manager John Hufnagel said Claybrooks is a welcome addition to his coaching staff.

“It was a pleasure watching DeVone act as player/coach last season,” said Hufnagel. “He took the time every practice to work with our young up-and-coming players. He has passion for the game and he’s a great addition to our staff.”

Claybrooks started his professional football career by attending Green Bay Packers training camp in 2001 before signing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and then the Cleveland Browns. He played for Rhein in NFL Europe in 2002 before returning to Tampa Bay. Claybrooks was a member of the Buccaneers when they won the Super Bowl XXXVII.

He also spent time with San Francisco, Atlanta and Dallas.