Kepley calls it quits

Dan Kepley spent 10 years as a member of the Edmonton Eskimos coaching staff.

Dan Kepley spent 10 years as a member of the Edmonton Eskimos coaching staff.

TERRY JONES, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:03 AM ET

Dan Kepley became the first head to roll from the Edmonton Eskimos coaching staff Tuesday.

He’ll likely be joined by Jeff Bleamer today.

Kepley, the Canadian Football Hall of Fame member of the five-in-a-row Grey Cup glory gang of 1978-82, is on the Eskimos Wall of Honour and one of six Eskimo greats featured on massive new window displays at Commonwealth Stadium.

A highly placed source in the Eskimos’ organization confirmed the departure of Kepley, a 10-year member of the coaching staff who was working with the linebackers this year.

Offensive line coach Bleamer is not expected to be back when the team returns to the practice field Monday to prepare for an Aug. 28 game against the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

Head coach Richie Hall and offensive co-ordinator Kevin Strasser, the two coaches under the most heat, will apparently be spared, at least for the time being.

The 1-6 Eskimos, who play host to the Grey Cup game Nov. 28 in Commonwealth Stadium, lost 56-15 in Calgary Sunday.

A three-time Schenley Award-winner as the CFL’s most outstanding defensive player, Kepley was chosen as one of the ribbon-cutters at the opening of the new state-of-the-art dressing room prior to the season opener.

He won six Grey Cups as a player and two more as a coach.

Kepley worked for one year as an assistant in 1985 and returned in the same capacity from 2002-2005.

In 2006, he was made linebackers coach by Danny Maciocia, with whom he had a close personal relationship.

Maciocia unquestionably protected the legendary former great, who failed to have much success either developing or getting a high level of play from the linebacking crew.

Bleamer came to the Eskimos as a former assistant with Charlie Taaffe, with whom he coached twice.

Taaffe and Maciocia are closely connected.

While the moves were obviously in the works earlier in the day, neither were telegraphed by head coach Hall when he held a media scrum in the morning.

It is not known if a replacement or replacements will be named Wednesday or if any major player moves will be announced as well.

terry.jones@sunmedia.ca


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