Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION
Posted: 12/4/2013 7:40 AM | Comments: 0
Last Modified: 12/4/2013 1:12 PM | Updates
The Blue Bombers anointed Mike O’Shea as their new head coach today, making the Canadian coach the last of the three big shake-up hires as the football club looks to reverse its slumping fortunes.
In an unusual move, the Bombers unveiled O’Shea at an open press conference in a Fairmont Hotel ballroom downtown, inviting fans to come watch. Around 100 turned out, and gave a lengthy ovation when Bombers GM Kyle Walters formally announced O’Shea as the new sideline boss.
"This is something I didn’t expect," O’Shea said after the applause finally faded down. "You expect members of the media to sit in front of you… It helps solidify why you make a decision like this."
This is the first head coaching job for O’Shea, a 43-year-old from North Bay, Ont. who played 16 years in the CFL and won four Grey Cup rings in that time. After retiring from the CFL in 2009, he joined the Toronto Argonauts as special teams coach, where he remained until the Bombers came knocking.
With the hire, he becomes a rare Canadian head coach in the country’s own pro football league.
As for the rest of the coaching staff, O’Shea declined to give specifics, but said there were "a number of people" he was looking at to bring in to round out his assistants, suggesting it’s unlikely to see former members of the coaching staff return. "I do want to get it done as quickly as possible," he said, stressing he was looking for coaches who are "the best teachers out there."
O’Shea also kept a close lid on his thoughts on personnel matters, though he said he did watch a lot of tape. The Bombers do have players with a ton of talent, he said, though he noted you can’t see character on tape – or measure the effect of lack of confidence.
"They need to refocus," O’Shea said, noting he was planning on returning to the stadium after the presser to continue working with Walters and scouts. "They need to believe in the process of starting to win again."
In a lighthearted moment at the afternoon presser, Walters said he remembers his first contact with Mike O’Shea: it was early days of training camp at the University of Guelph almost 25 years ago, when he was stymied by a fearsome linebacker. O’Shea has, ahem, fewer recollections of that first encounter. "No, I don’t remember him at all," O’Shea said, for a few laughs.
Updated on Wednesday, December 4, 2013 at 8:17 AM CST: Updated
12:05 PM: Adds video player.
12:59 PM: Updates with details of news conference.
1:04 PM: Added photo
1:12 PM: Writethru.
Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories? Please use the form below and let us know.
Having problems with the form?Contact Us Directly
Community members in shock over death of child
Coming attraction: pop-up downtown drive-in theatre
Winnipeg's crime rate continues to drop
Teen takes responsibility for killing fellow high school football player with surprise punch
Scottish identity celebrated as Glasgow Games open
Shoppers Drug Mart becomes drive-thru
Teen hockey players facing assault charges
Florida man fined $13,000 for trying to smuggle gun into Canada
NFL suspends Jaguars WR Sanders 4 games
Blue Bombers prepare lineup for Friday match against BC Lions
History is not on their side
A future for the Lac-Megantic locomotive?
Crash kills US teen pilot seeking world record
US pushes for truce as Gaza battle rages
Repurpose pay phones for truly public Wi-Fi
Setback for Nygård in Bahamas
Seattle's Sidney Rice announces his retirement
Crime rate down, so is severity; StatsCan
Holmes lawyers question firearms analysis
More out-of-province fire crews sent to B.C.
Tyrannosaur a team player? B.C. fossils say yes
Meat supplier in China scandal has global reach
Harper gov't proposes easing gun law
Broncos owner giving up control due to Alzheimer's
Report recommends ways to improve STARS
When in Rome...
Man charged after human trafficking investigation
6 indicted in U.S. in StubHub accounts case
Jets sign Chiarot to new two-way contract
Trump: Hotel in capital to be among world's best
European carriers suspend more Tel Aviv flights
PepsiCo raises outlook, looks to new Lay's flavours
Lockdown lifted at US Air Force base
Thousands of accused people being needlessly detained: civil rights advocates
Death sentence given in AP photographer's killing
Winnipeg's decline in crime rate well ahead of national average
Pallister says the province can build Lake Manitoba outlets much faster
Another arrest made in Omand's Creek robbery
Nazi war suspect, 89, dies as extradition OK'd
Relatives fly to Taiwan plane crash site, 48 dead