Jyles, Picard shaken by coach's death
By FRANK ZICARELLI, QMI Agency
|Winnipeg Blue Bombers defensive coach Richard Harris talks with kicker Alexis Serna after he missed a field goal against the Toronto Argonauts in the first half of CFL action in Winnipeg October 10, 2008. (REUTERS/Fred Greenslade)
TORONTO - Within the span of a few days, Dominic Picard went from shaking hands with Bombers' assistant coach Richard Harris to being shaken up.
That’s the kind of impression Harris left on Picard, who spent three years in Winnipeg.
“He was such a great man,’’ Picard said of Harris, who suddenly passed away on Tuesday. “I’m speechless talking about him.”
After Winnipeg beat the Argos in Toronto’s home opener on Saturday, Picard approached Harris.
“I saw him after the game and now he’s gone,’’ Picard said. “That’s why we’re blessed, it’s why every day is a privilege. He’s a great man and all the players loved him.”
Stephen Jyles also played in Winnipeg and felt Harris’ presence.
“It was shocking,’’ Jyles said when informed of Harris’ death. “You never expected that. He was such a great guy. “For him to go on and be with the Lord, it’s a hurt feeling but at the same time he’s resting. He’s in a better place.”
The reaction expressed by many around the CFL spoke to the legacy Harris leaves, the outpouring reflective of the lives he touched.
“He was a loving guy,’’ Jyles added. “He was like the dad of the locker room, a guy everyone looked up to, a guy you can talk to about anything and not just football.
“He would talk about life in general. The door to his office was always open. He was a very wise guy and I loved him. My family loved him and from the very first time I met him, I felt that way.
“My son doesn’t do well with strangers, but from the very beginning he ran up to coach Harris and he took to him. Coach Harris is a guy you never forget.”