Blue Bomber Report Record: 7–11–0

Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Bombers hire first-ever QB coach

U.S. college, NFL Europe coach Dalquist brings 40 years of experience

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Need has trumped everything, so on Monday, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers announced they have a dedicated quarterbacks coach for the first time in recent memory.

The CFL team has hired Gene Dalquist, a native of Mount Prospect, Ill., who has a coaching resumé spanning more than 40 years.

Pay no attention to his age, 71, or his background -- strictly U.S. or NFL affiliated football, Bombers head coach Mike O'Shea said.

"We wanted a very technical quarterbacks coach who can develop young guys technically," O'Shea said in a phone interview on Monday. "I'm sure there's questions about CFL experience but we were looking for someone who could really develop young guys.

"This fills our need."

O'Shea said that one of the matters that turned into extensive discussion with Bombers GM Kyle Walters before being hired in Winnipeg was the quarterback issue.

"We agreed things needed to be done in Winnipeg, that one of the issues has always been quarterbacking and the direction of quarterbacks," O'Shea said. "I felt strongly about having a quarterbacks coach.

"There's a limited number of coaches on staff so the tradeoff is a running backs coach or a quarterbacks coach.

"With the nature of the position in the CFL, the effect a quarterback has on a game, I felt strongly about the quarterbacks. And Marcel (Bellefeuille, offensive co-ordinator) with the experience he has, his sense was we had to get a guy."

And so O'Shea and Walters huddled with Bellefeuille and came up with a connection in the offensive co-ordinator's past.

Dalquist worked for Bellefeuille in Omaha of the UFL in 2012.

"I was relying on Marcel," O'Shea said. "We had a list of candidates and we went through them and Marcel has coached with Gene before and this is what he felt he needed.

"As I have said, you hire people to fill gaps, people who are better than myself in their areas."

O'Shea said the technical nature of the Bombers' need in this area far outweighs the fact Dalquist has no Canadian experience.

"I have full confidence," the head coach said. "He's an intelligent man. He'll pick it up. Our need here is more technical. With Marcel, he'll be helping with evaluations and mentoring quarterbacks we want to have in the pipeline."

Dalquist himself was a quarterback and punter at University of Arizona between 1960 and 1964.

After a brief stint in pro football, he moved to the coaching ranks by becoming an assistant at Idaho State, moving on to Utah in 1971 and then to Oregon State in 1974.

After being the offensive co-ordinator there for 1975 and 1976, Dalquist moved to Boise State in 1977 and stayed for six seasons, winning five Big Sky conference titles and the Division 1-AA national title in 1980.

Later moves were to Iowa State, then to Illinois and Texas, all in offensive roles.

After a year at University of Nevada-Las Vegas as passing-game co-ordinator and quarterbacks coach, Dalquist moved to NFL Europe to be the head coach of the Scottish Claymores between 2001 and 2003.

He later worked with Football University in the U.S.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 25, 2014 D2

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