Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Burke goes from Blue to Double Blue

  • Print

TORONTO -- Scott Milanovich didn't have to look long or far for his new defensive co-ordinator.

The Toronto Argonauts head coach needed just one phone call to find a replacement for Chris Jones, who left last month to become the Edmonton Eskimos head coach.

On Thursday, the Argos unveiled Tim Burke, the former Winnipeg Blue Bombers head coach, as their new defensive co-ordinator.

"As soon as Chris left and I knew Tim was available he was the only one I talked to," Milanovich said during a conference call. "I think Tim and I see eye-to-eye on defensive philosophy in the CFL.

"It was an easy decision for me. It took about 30 seconds on a phone call to Tim and when he said he was available that was the end of it."

Milanovich and Burke certainly have a history together. They won Grey Cup titles with the Montreal Alouettes in 2009 and '10 as the offensive and defensive co-ordinators, respectively.

"Scott and I are real good friends and we bounced a lot of ideas off each other during that time," Burke said.

Burke came to the CFL in 2005 as a defensive backs coach with the Calgary Stampeders. He joined the Alouettes as the defensive co-ordinator under head coach Marc Trestman from '08 to '10 before heading to Winnipeg as its defensive co-ordinator in 2011.

After helping Winnipeg reach the Grey Cup in '11, Burke was named interim Bombers head coach in August 2012 after Paul LaPolice was fired. Burke become the full-time coach after the season.

Burke was fired following the 2013 campaign after Winnipeg posted a league-worst 3-15 record. Overall, Burke compiled a 7-21 record as head coach of the Bombers.

The Bombers hired former Argos special-teams coach Mike O'Shea as Burke's successor on Wednesday.

Burke left Winnipeg with time remaining on his contract, but sitting out the 2014 campaign wasn't an option. Burke said his prior experience as a head coach will help him in Toronto.

"One thing I learned from other coaches who've been in this situation is they always thought you become a better assistant after you've been a head coach," Burke said. "You've been in the head coach's chair before so you understand where he's coming from all the time.

"You always understand there's a big picture and it's not just about your defence or your position group. The other thing is I'm much more aware of game-time decisions and seeing how everything works during the game."

Toronto finished atop the East Division standings with an 11-7 record, thanks in large part to its pass-happy offence under the leadership of all-star quarterback Ricky Ray. Defensively, the Argos were a bend-but-don't-break unit, finishing third in fewest points allowed (25.4 points per game) despite being ranked last in yards allowed (390 yards) and passing yards (298.2) and second-last in sacks (38).

Milanovich must still find a replacement for O'Shea, and is bracing for more possible departures as both Jones and O'Shea look to fill their respective coaching staffs.

"I'm so happy for Chris and Mike, I expected to lose some of these guys even a year ago," Milanovich said. "I think it's a credit to our organization that we're hiring the right people and clearly there are other organizations who want what we have and I think we have to take that as a compliment."

-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 6, 2013 C4

Fact Check

Fact Check

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.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Key of Bart: Those Damn Hipster Things

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Two Canada geese fly Wednesday afternoon at Oak Hammock Marsh- Front bird is banded for identification- Goose Challenge Day 3- - Apr 30, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • horse in sunset - marc gallant

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Who should get more playing time in Jets net?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google