Canadian Football League

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Bombers looking for new Canadian Football League Head Coach

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers fired head coach Jim Daley on Tuesday.

The move wasn't a total surprise after the Bombers finished the season last in the West Division with a 5-13 record.

Daley and general manager Brendan Taman had both been on the hot seat most of the season in Winnipeg, but many Bombers fans felt the team had to change coaches in order to change its fortunes.

Daley became the Bombers interim head coach last season, succeeding the fired Dave Ritchie. After compiling a 5-6 record, Daley was made the club's full-time head coach in the off-season.

Daley, 51, has been a coach for 28 years, the last 13 in the CFL. He posted a 10-19 record with the Bombers.

The Bombers, who haven't made the playoffs since 2003, struggled on both sides of the ball this season.

Defensively, the club allowed 8,249 total yards, an average of 458.3 per game, to break the CFL mark of 446.4 yards set in '91 by Saskatchewan. The Bombers were especially woeful against the pass, surrendering 6,335 yards - 352 per game - to smash the previous record of 341.2 yards set in '93 by B.C.

Winnipeg's offence was ranked eighth in total yards (331 per game) as well as in passing (246 per game). This despite a stellar campaign from slotback Milt Stegall, who had a CFL-high 17 touchdowns receiving to boost his career total to 126. That broke the CFL career mark of 117 held previously by former Calgary Stampeder Allen Pitts.

But Stegall is seriously considering retirement, which would be a huge blow to a franchise that needs to be much better in 2006 because it is hosting the Grey Cup.

Another offensive bright spot was running back Charles Roberts, who rushed for a CFL-high 1,624 yards.

However, it looks like the Bombers will have to do without punter Jon Ryan, who set a CFL record with a 50.6-yard punting average. Ryan, a Regina native, becomes a free agent in the off-season and has garnered plenty of NFL interest.

Prior to joining the Bombers, Daley served as the defensive co-ordinator with the Calgary Stampeders from 2000 to 2003. He earned a Grey Cup ring with the Stampeders in 2001.

Daley was the head coach of the Saskatchewan Roughriders from 1996 to '98, leading the club to the '97 Grey Cup against the Toronto Argonauts. Before becoming head coach, he was the Riders defensive co-ordinator in 1994 and '95.

Daley broke into the CFL as an assistant coach with the Ottawa Rough Riders in 1991.

Before that, he served as the head coach of the Ottawa Gee-Gees (1985 to 1990) and was twice named the OUA's top coach. He also coached at Carleton University.

Daley coached the Ottawa Sooners junior squad from 1982 to '84, leading the team to the Canadian Bowl title in 1984. He was the Ontario Football Conference's coach of the year in 1983 and '84.


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