Meet the coaches

KIRK PENTON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:53 AM ET

If they took their salary and divided it by the actual number of hours worked to discover their hourly wage, they would quit on the spot.

They are often overlooked when things go well but questioned when the situation goes sour.

They often come from the United States without ever having seen a game yet are expected to help lead their charges into battle.

They are CFL assistant coaches.

Winnipeg Blue Bombers head coach Doug Berry has officially put his stamp on his seven-man crew of helpers in this, his second season at the helm.

A couple of old friends, a former co-worker, a young up-and-comer, the local veteran and a couple of the best defensive minds in the nation make up Berry's band of assistants.

Now all they have to do is put their heads together and figure out how to bring the Grey Cup back to Winnipeg for the first time since 1990.

Here's a closer look at the Bomber assistants for the 2007 season:

BOB WYLIE

Job: offensive line coach

Years coaching: 27

Years coaching in CFL: 1

Years coaching Bombers: 1

What you may not know ...

Wylie didn't exactly jump at the chance to come north. Here's a recording of the conversation when Berry called him earlier this year:

Berry: What are you doing?

Wylie: I'm playing golf in Arizona.

Berry: I've got a job for you in Winnipeg.

Wylie: Leave me alone. I'm playing golf in Arizona. There's no grass in Winnipeg.

Berry: No, no, no. You're gonna want to coach again, and I'm going to hold this job until you tell me no.

Wylie took another six or seven weeks to ponder the offer, but he finally decided to join Berry, whom he first met in New England in the late 1970s.

"We've been friends ever since," Wylie says.

The 56-year-old Rhode Island native has coached at every level of football, from Pop Warner all the way to the NFL, where he spent 14 seasons.

Wylie is just as diverse off the field. He's a pilot, he used to be a drummer in a band, and he's an amateur magician.

GREG MARSHALL

Job: defensive co-ordinator

Years coaching: 18

Years coaching in CFL: 14

Years coaching Bombers: 2

What you may not know ...

Marshall turned the Bomber defence from a punchline into a powerhouse in 2006 despite having a remarkably busy social calendar.

"Last year was a big year," Marshall says. "I had a daughter (Caitlyn) graduate from high school, I turned 50, my wife (Cindy) turned 50, we celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary, and I had a son (Bryan) graduate from college.

"So we had a lot going on last year. So I guess it's a little calmer this time around."

His son Bryan is an offensive lineman for the University of Alberta Golden Bears and still has a year of eligibility remaining, but they're not visiting the Manitoba Bisons this fall.

The Golden Bears visited Winnipeg last fall, but Marshall was out of town with the Bombers.

"Unfortunately it doesn't work out that they're coming here this year," Marshall says, "but hopefully I'll be able to work it out a little bit and see a game or two."

RICHARD HARRIS

Job: defensive line coach

Years coaching: 15

Years coaching in CFL: 7

Years coaching Bombers: 2

What you may not know ...

It was the coldest day of the Winnipeg winter, and Harris was walking his dog when a simple question popped into his mind.

"What the hell am I doing here?" Harris asked himself.

Harris remained in Winnipeg after his first season with the Bombers, and it didn't take the Shreveport, La., native long to learn just how tough you have to be to be a local.

"Especially when the wind was so cold that it opened up the membranes in my nose and the blood was freezing on my moustache," Harris says.

Despite that gory event, Harris insists he had "fun" and "enjoyed" his first winter on the Prairies.

Harris remained in River City create a DVD for his defensive linemen to analyse going into this season.

"They saw what worked when they did it correctly, and they saw what they needed to do to make it work," he says.

He had plenty of time to work on the project, because none of his family members came to visit him.

"No, they asked me to come to Arizona and places where it's warm," he said.

CORY MCDIARMID

Job: specials teams/running backs coach

Years coaching: 16

Years coaching in CFL: 8

Years coaching Bombers: 2

What you may not know ...

McDiarmid is the only person in Winnipeg who truly knows how Berry did in his transition from offensive co-ordinator to head coach last season.

The Red Deer, Alta., native and Berry were on the staff together in Montreal in 2005, which turned out to be the last year with the Alouettes for both of them.

Berry hired McDiarmid after getting the Winnipeg job.

"He's doing really well. He's doing a good job," McDiarmid says. "He's been a great assistant coach, a great co-ordinator, but now, being a head coach, he's kind of fit into that with a year under his belt."

McDiarmid has worked in B.C., Toronto, Calgary, Montreal and now Winnipeg since 2000, so this season he had the luxury of actually knowing some of his players before they reported.

"I have a better grasp on all the guys because everybody was fresh and new to me last year," McDiarmid says. "So that's a good thing."

McDiarmid also became a true Winnipegger last season. How? His Jeep was stolen.

BOB DYCE

Job: receivers coach, draft co-ordinator.

Years coaching: 16

Years coaching in CFL: 5

Years coaching Bombers: 5

What you may not know ...

When we chatted with Dyce last year at this time, the Winnipeg native was talking about doing everything he could to catch his daughter playing soccer or his son hitting the hockey ice or the football field.

The fun and games aren't about to stop for Dyce anytime soon.

"On March 18th I became a father again," he says. "I had a beautiful little girl, Ava. So now I've got Brooklyn, 16, Trysten, 12, and now Ava's 12 weeks.

"Those 12 years (between newborns) seem short watching the other two grow up, but now it seems like a long time ago."

Life couldn't be better for Dyce, who is the only assistant who wasn't hired originally by Berry. He even gets out of a lot of diaper changing.

"During training camp, regrettably, I don't have a big job at home," he says. "It's waking up at 3 o'clock in the morning every once in a while and going to get her from her crib so she can feed.

"But I'll tell you what: It's a lot easier getting up at three in my 20s than it is in my 40s."

KIT CARTWRIGHT

Job: offensive co-ordinator, quarterbacks coach.

Years coaching: 30

Years coaching in CFL: 1

Years coaching Bombers: 1

What you may not know ...

Cartwright and Berry go back a long way, to 1978 to be exact.

"We started off together as young guys and stayed in touch over the years," Cartwright says. "Even though a lot of years did pass by, it seems like it always was back when we first got to know each other."

The self-described "family man" from Bloomington, Ind., has three children, the last of whom is leaving the nest in the fall.

Daughter Kristy is headed to the University of Toledo in September. She follows older sister Kelly, a junior softball player at Butler University in Indianapolis, and Michael, a 25-year-old electrical engineer in Salt Lake City.

His wife, Dawn, is a school teacher back in Bloomington.

"She's going to come up for a visit this summer," Cartwright says.

And if Cartwright ever gets some free time this season, you'll find him on the links.

"I love to play golf," says the man who recruited Tom Brady to the University of Michigan. "I have my clubs in my trunk. I don't know when I'll break them out."

COREY CHAMBLIN

Job: defensive backs coach.

Years coaching: 3

Years coaching in CFL: 1

Years coaching Bombers: 1

What you may not know ...

Don't blink this season or you might miss Chamblin, because it only takes about 10 seconds to realize that he has the drive and determination to climb high in the coaching world.

Take, for instance, what he does in his spare time.

"Just always gathering information," he says. "Seriously. That's what I'm doing to keep moving up the ranks.

"... Everything is always, in some kind of way, gathering knowledge that's going to help me in my next endeavour."

The Alabama native turned 30 only two weeks ago, which means he's younger than two players in the Bombers secondary: Anthony Malbrough and Greg Bearman.

"I'm fortunate to be 30, but mentally I'm not 30," the former NFLer says. "We may relate to the same things off the field, but on the field I've prepared myself for the last couple of years to learn how to coach and see things as the coach."

Persistence about his interests away from finally pay off when Chamblin finally admits to liking the TV show House and hanging out at Chapters.

But that's all he could come up with.

"When the off-season begins in December," he says, "I'll take about a week of sleep and then get back to learn how to be a better DB coach."


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