The man In Charge

JUDY OWEN -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:01 AM ET

If you bump into Doug Berry and want to strike up a conversation, don't think the topic has to revolve around football.

Instead, ask the Winnipeg Blue Bombers head coach about one of his other passions -- sports cars.

How interested is Berry in cars? Well, last December, he and his wife, Carol, were visiting family in New England when he browsed the Internet to see if any sports cars were for sale.

He spotted a 1980 MG for sale in Cleveland and decided to detour through the Ohio city on their way back to Winnipeg the following month.

He ended up plunking down $6,000 for the new wheels -- the colour "blue, of course" -- checked the forecast and decided to drive it back to Winnipeg, with Carol following in their car.

Although the MG's heat was working, its air vents were stuck open and it ended up being a chilly journey.

"It was zero and the cold was blasting through the open vents," he recalls with a chuckle.

"I had (Carol's) parka over my legs, plus my jacket on, gloves and a hat." Some of the other cars Berry has owned include a 1960 MGA, 1962 Triumph TR3B, 1972 Corvette LT1 and a 1969 Volkswagen convertible.

"I've rebuilt all those cars," says Berry, whose other hobbies include refinishing furniture and home renovations.

Now that football season is here, though, Berry's thoughts have turned to fixing things on the gridiron.

Last season in his first year as a CFL head coach, he guided the Bombers to a 9-9 record and their first playoff appearance in three years, a turnaround from the 2005 squad's 5-13 mark.

"Coaching football is not a job," he says. "If it ever becomes a job, I've stayed in it too long. It's a hobby. It's just fun. I really enjoy the challenges. That part of it inspires me, keeps me going. I love it." Berry graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a plan to go into recreation and parks administration.

"My wife thought she married a park ranger." Carol is an occupation therapist and hopes to work in Winnipeg. The couple has two daughters attending school in Massachusetts. Kasey, 21, is majoring in communications and Jessica, 26, is getting a teaching certificate.

Berry says he and his wife have no regrets about their move to Manitoba.

"My wife likes it here and that's all that matters," he says.

"The people, the summer weather, the things to do like all the artsy things that are going on. There's a lot to do here."


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