Ritchie off to Leos den

JIM BENDER -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 9:03 AM ET

Dave Ritchie is apparently getting a promotion before even officially signing on with the B.C. Lions.

The former Winnipeg Blue Bombers head coach will be hired as the club's defensive co-ordinator, Team 1040 in Vancouver reported yesterday.

Ritchie had been expected to become B.C.'s defensive line coach, but defensive co-ordinator Paul Arslanian left the CFL club to pursue business interests in the U.S.

Ritchie, who led the Leos to their 1994 Grey Cup victory as their head coach, is close to B.C. head coach/GM Wally Buono. Ritchie, who was fired by Winnipeg last season, also reportedly had an offer from the Edmonton Eskimos to become their defensive co-ordinator.

DB PICTURE: Defensive back Clifford Ivory, a free agent who drew some interest from the Bombers, will reportedly re-sign with the Toronto Argonauts this week. The Bombers have made an offer to DB Kelly Malveaux (Montreal) and are still awaiting a response. Bomber GM Brendan Taman plans to contact DB Bo Lewis, who has been released by B.C. Others on the Bomber free agent radar screen include former Bomber Milo Lewis and William Fields, who both played for Calgary last year. Taman also called safety Shawn Gallant (Ottawa) "just to see what he's doing."

CALL WAITING: Taman is also anxiously awaiting a response to his reported contract offer of $70,000 to free agent offensive lineman Sherko Haji-Rasouli. But he is willing to be patient.

"I think the rush is sort of over," Taman said. "The time right now is to wait and see."

Haji-Rasouli could not be reached for comment.

HASHMARKS: Taman has yet to meet with veteran centre Moe Elewonibi to discuss his immediate future with the club. "I'll talk to him soon," he said. "I'm not too worried about it." ... According to the Toronto Sun, the Argos have signed John Avery's half-brother, Peter Scarborough, a wide receiver/kick returner with speed ... Hamilton reportedly signed former B.C. receiver Chris Brazzell to a two-year deal worth $250,000.


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