Bombers PR man lands plum new gig

KIRK PENTON -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 8:17 AM ET

Shawn Coates loves the CFL so much, he's going to work for it.

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers director of media and public relations is moving to Toronto to become the league's director of football operations.

His first day on the job is next Wednesday.

"It's a superb opportunity for me," Coates said yesterday. "It's the next step in my career. I love working for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and have really enjoyed everybody here, but it's time for a new challenge and the league is kind enough to provide that to me."

Coates began working for the Bombers in 2000 and is viewed by many as the top PR man in the league. He will work his final game on Saturday when the Bombers visit the B.C. Lions in Vancouver.

The CFL created the position that Coates landed, and he will work under vice-president of football operations Ed Chalupka.

"I would like to see football operations with the CFL to continue to progress and make this league even stronger," Coates said.

"The league's shown a lot of growth in the last five to six years with attendance figures, television numbers, ticket sales and corporate sponsorship.

"Football operations has gone along as well. I would like to see that trend continue. I'd like to be a big part of that."

Some of his responsibilities will include processing contracts, roster control and ensuring games go off without a hitch.

"Even though each club runs the games, there has to be a person or two from the league who makes sure that kickoff happens at 7:08 and those kinds of things," he said.

Coates, who is also familiar with the marketing side of the CFL, will work on special projects for the league as well.

Kevin Guille, currently a Bombers sales and marketing assistant, will replace Coates.

TELL US HOW YOU REALLY FEEL: Calgary Stampeders fullback Scott Regimbald, who is now a Winnipeg Blue Bombers fullback, may or may not have crossed the goal-line with four seconds remaining Friday night that gave his team a 22-21 upset win over the B.C. Lions.

Also, Dante Marsh's pass interference penalty that set up the touchdown may or may not have been an infraction.

Here's how the Vancouver Sun's Gary Mason described the Lions' walk to the locker-room after the loss.

"Horses--- calls, man," said one. "Absolutely horses---."

"Check the replay," said another. "What a @$%&#$@ farce."

"That ref was a %$#$% joke," one more chimed in. "A total *%#$@ joke."

Apparently, the Lions were upset.

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THEY SAID IT

"Think those goal posts look narrow?"

- the public address announcer at Calgary's McMahon Stadium, just seconds before B.C. Lions kicker Duncan O'Mahony missed a 24-yard field goal attempt on Friday.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS: 1-5

- The record of Eskimos QB Jason Maas this season against teams with a winning record.


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