'Riders co-ordinator throws hat in ring

KIRK PENTON -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 7:33 AM ET

Marcel Bellefeuille used an R word yesterday, but it's the one that will sound like sweet music to Winnipeg Blue Bomber fans.

"When I was the head coach at the University of Ottawa, I used to always call it reloading," Bellefeuille said yesterday from Regina. "Every recruiting year was reloading.

"When you go to an organization, it's reloading. You happen to be one of the bullets."

Bellefeuille (pronounced bell-fay) said he wouldn't rule out being one of those bullets that the Bombers bring in; specifically as their new head coach in place of the fired Jim Daley, whose use of the word "rebuilding" drew the ire of fans and management.

GM Brendan Taman told the Sun earlier this week that he plans to ask the Saskatchewan Roughriders for permission to interview defensive co-ordinator Richie Hall and Bellefeuille, who is currently the 'Riders offensive co-ordinator.

"Any head coaching position opportunity, if it's a good opportunity, would interest myself and anybody that's a young, aspiring coach that wants to go to the next level," said Bellefeuille, who hadn't heard from the Bombers as of late yesterday afternoon.

The 39-year-old Ottawa native was on the short list to become the Edmonton Eskimos new head coach last winter, but Danny Maciocia ended up being promoted from within.

Bellefeuille isn't scared off by Winnipeg's 5-13 record this season. In fact, he sees a lot of positives on the Blue and Gold roster.

"Probably most coaches will tell you there is a base of players there," he said. "I had the pleasure of coaching some of the guys over there. Like Omar Evans and Kevin Glenn, I had over here in Saskatchewan."

Bellefeuille's future with the Roughriders could be up in the air, depending on what happens at tonight's board of governors meeting in the Saskatchewan capital.

There are rumours circulating that Bellefeuille could even be the scapegoat for the team's perceived underachieving this season.

"As far as we know, we go along with status quo," he said.

Bellefeuille noted that there could be a comfort level for him were he to wind up as the Bombers' main man.

"I see a lot of similarities between that organization and the one over here, besides the fact that we're both on the Prairies," he said. "In terms of somewhat the structure and somewhat the lay of the land, there are some similarities.

"... I do have a lot of respect for that organization. We've played a lot of great games against them."


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