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New dish: Bison shawarma

Ex-Bomber and restaurateur Khan excited to help Herd's O-line coach

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Even with a restaurant to run, you know Obby Khan couldn't stay away from the football field for long.

This season, the former Bomber will join the University of Manitoba Bisons coaching staff, helping offensive-line coach Terry Watson bring up the next generation of potential CFL stars. The addition has been a long time coming, Bisons coach Brian Dobie said: Khan has been around the Bisons program for years, calling recruits and doling out advice to players and staff.

"It almost started as a threat," Dobie chuckled. "'Obby, when you're finished playing, you're coaching with us.' That's how it started... I think the beauty of bringing Obby Khan onto staff is the insight that he brings. You can't buy experience."

It's a part-time, volunteer gig -- Khan's hip Exchange District joint, Shawarma Khan, will take up the lion's share of his days, especially as he readies to open a satellite location at Investors Group Field to dish out pitas during Bomber games. Still, the nine-season CFL veteran said the move could be the bridge to a deeper coaching career.

"I hope I'm here for a long time," Khan said, decked out in Bisons duds at a press conference on Tuesday. "I think a lot of mentoring the young guys, showing them the ropes, and for the older guys, showing them what it takes to take their game to the next level."

The move to the Bisons coaching corps is the culmination of a raincheck, of sorts. Last year, Khan signed on as an assistant offensive-line co-ordinator for the U of M, but had to bail when he came out of a brief CFL retirement to shore up the injury-riddled Calgary Stampeders as they made a run to the Grey Cup Final.

The Stamps released Khan in March. But while that may mean Khan's retirement is back on, he isn't taking anything off the table yet. Helping out the Bisons will be his focus, he said, but if a CFL GM comes calling, he'll listen. "Being around these young players might help rejuvenate some of these old bones," the 32-year-old quipped.

"I have no desire of going to training camp right now... But that being said, if somebody gets hurt in week eight, nine or 10 and they need an old veteran who can kind of of snap a ball still, then maybe I'll go."

melissa.martin@freepress.mb.ca

Herd signs four

local recruits

THE addition of Obby Khan to the coaching staff wasn't the only big news for the University of Manitoba Bisons football team on Tuesday. The team also invited media to watch as four local recruits -- defensive backs Jayden McKoy, Braedy Will and Houston Rennie and receiver Kurt Goodrich -- signed their commitment to join the club for the upcoming season.

The foursome includes two Miles Macdonell Collegiate students in McKoy and Rennie. McKoy, the Miles Mac team captain last year playing a variety of positions, was the 2012 Winnipeg High School Football League's Offensive Player of the Year, and led the league in scoring, interceptions and defensive touchdowns. Rennie is a two-time provincial team member who put up 27 tackles, four interceptions and six sacks last season.

Will, 17, was a Potter Division all-star with the Oak Park High School team last year, and led the league in interceptions in 2011.

Goodrich is returning to the Bisons program after redshirting with the team in 2010. The 20-year-old then moved to join the Winnipeg Rifles. He was named Prairie Football Conference all-star and Rookie of the Year in his first season, where he caught 33 passes for 526 yards and seven touchdowns. He was injured for much of the 2012 season.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 3, 2013 D5

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