Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 27/12/2009 (2791 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
After a whirlwind house cleaning the Winnipeg Blue Bombers left the windows open to air things out for a few days, but are beginning the process of filling up empty chairs in their football family.
The resignation of Bombers czar Lyle Bauer and the subsequent firing of head coach Mike Kelly has left the club bereft of leadership on both the football and business sides of the organization.
Bauer, rumoured on and off to be headed to the Calgary Stampeders as their next president, told the Free Press on Sunday he's looking at a number of opportunities but none in football.
Kelly is dealing with legal issues in Pennsylvania after being arrested following a domestic dispute with an ex-girlfriend.
The Bombers board of directors have formed search committees for three positions: president/CEO; vice-president of football operations and head coach.
The committees will begin the work of contacting candidates and going through resumés over the next week with interviews scheduled to begin the first week of January.
The search committees will work simultaneously dealing with candidates for all three positions, however, the board is anxious to have its vice-president of football operations in place as quickly as possible.
Board members Ken Hildahl, Joe Poplawski, Bill Watchorn and Paul Robson along with interim president and CEO Jim Bell will head up the vice-president of football operations search.
Bell is also expected to put together the job description and criteria for both executive positions.
The board will likely keep the head coach search on the back burner until they've put a football operations boss in place and then include the new hire in the selection process.
Board chairman Ken Hildahl said last week there is significant interest in all three jobs.
There are all kinds of names and rumours and here's a list compiled on speculation and whispers:
George Chayka (vice-president-business, B.C. Lions)
Chayka is well respected in the league and has worked well in an organizational chart in B.C. where he runs the business side while Wally Buono handles the football end of things. Chayka was interviewed for the president's chair in Regina a few years ago but backed off due to personal reasons.
Tom Wright (managing director, LEVEL5 Strategic Brand Advisors)
Wright's name was linked to the Bombers CEO gig at the Grey Cup, prior to Lyle Bauer's resignation. Former league commissioner and still a big name at the board level in Canadian sports and entertainment.
Grant Carter (CEO Team Doctors Preferred Access)
Former Blue Bombers rush end, worked with the Royal Bank for close to eight years in Atlanta, heading a sports and entertainment division.
"I haven't spoken to anyone formally but I'd certainly be interested in this position. I've kept up with the league," said Carter, 39.
VICE-PRESIDENT, FOOTBALL OPERATIONS
Brendan Taman (director of football administration, Saskatchewan Roughriders)
Taman held this post with the Bombers prior to being pushed out last off-season by the Mike Kelly regime. Popular with the staff and still highly regarded by some board members.
Tom Higgins (director of officiating, CFL)
Professorial type who won coach of the year with the Calgary Stampeders in 2005 and coached the Edmonton Eskimos to a Grey Cup win in 2003 and was also named coach of the year that season.
Ross Hodgkinson (interim vice-president, football operations, Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Bumped to interim post after front office shakeup two weeks ago. Respected and trusted by board. Capable, detail oriented and hard working. Would provide stability after shakeups in the past two seasons.
John Murphy (director of player personnel, Winnipeg Blue Bombers)
Made strides turning the Bombers roster over this past season going with more speed and youth. Biggest challenge this off-season will be to land a quarterback capable of developing into a legitimate starter in the CFL.
Greg Marshall (defensive co-ordinator, Hamilton Tiger-Cats)
Many believe this is his job to lose. Marshall was the favoured choice of many board members prior to Bauer ushering Kelly as his coach last off-season. Tiger-Cats GM Bob O'Billovich is on record as saying he won't stand in Marshall's way. Also a candidate for the opening with the Toronto Argonauts.
Rick Campbell (defensive backs coach and special teams co-ordinator, Winnipeg Blue Bombers)
Defensive co-ordinator with the Edmonton Eskimos for several seasons before moving to the Bombers last year. Son of CFL legend Hugh Campbell, has the football smarts and will get an interview if he's interested.
Tim Burke (defensive co-ordinator, Montreal Alouettes)
Has spent the past five seasons in the CFL, the last two as defensive co-ordinator in Montreal after a lengthy coaching career in the NCAA.