Canadian Football League

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Mike Kelly , New Canadian Football League Head Coach

Mike Kelly opened his tenure as head coach of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers on Tuesday morning with a smile and a laugh as he shouted "surprise."

Kelly's hiring, which was the worst-kept secret in Winnipeg, was made official at a Blue Bombers news conference, where he was introduced by club president Lyle Bauer.

Mike Kelly

Mike Kelly

The former Blue Bombers offensive co-ordinator was named the 27th head coach in team history, replacing Doug Berry. Berry was fired Nov. 12, shortly after the Bombers lost to the Edmonton Eskimos in the CFL East Division semifinal.

Kelly left his job as receivers coach with the Eskimos to take the job that he called "the only one I've ever wanted."

"This is nothing new here. This is me coming home," said Kelly.

Kelly last worked for the Blue Bombers from 1992-96 as the club's offensive co-ordinator and is a longtime friend of Bauer.

Kelly made no promises to current players, saying he'll take the next month to prepare a review of each player before making decisions on personnel. He also ruled out the hiring of former Blue Bombers quarterback Matt Dunnigan and current TV analyst as his offensive co-ordinator, saying: "You're looking at the new offensive co-ordinator. No one but me will be touching the quarterback."


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