Argos GM says he always knew O'Shea had right stuff

Toronto Argonauts general manager Jim Barker. (DAVE ABEL/QMI Agency)

Toronto Argonauts general manager Jim Barker. (DAVE ABEL/QMI Agency)

Frank Zicarelli, Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 11:28 PM ET

TORONTO - Jim Barker can’t recall the exact moment when he began to see the qualities that would one day lead to Mike O’Shea serving as a head coach.

As an assistant coach, Barker got a close-up look at the impact O’Shea had on the Argos’ defence when the tough-as-nails linebacker quarterbacked the unit.

When Barker eventually returned to Toronto as head coach and general manager, one of the first people he interviewed was O’Shea, a success story in the real world of business once his playing days had ended.

“Sometime in the second year,’’ began Barker of O’Shea’s coaching evolution. “He started to develop those qualities. Some guys are great assistants, good assistants who aren’t cut out to be head coaches. O’Shea was always one of those guys who was cut out to be a head coach.

“He started to establish himself, he had the communication skills and players respected him. That’s what you look for in a head coach.”


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