Bombers boss begins search

JIM BENDER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:02 AM ET

The official search has begun.

Winnipeg Blue Bombers president/CEO Lyle Bauer admitted Monday that he has started to interview potential head coach/GMs to replace the deposed Doug Berry. But he has not gotten to Edmonton Eskimos receivers coach Mike Kelly -- yet.

"I have talked to a candidate," said Bauer, who is out of town but declined to say where he was calling from. "I have not 'interviewed' Mike.

"I'll probably talk to a few candidates this week. It's a very short list."

Kelly has already admitted that he planned to speak to Bauer this week but was not elaborating on his plans Monday.

"I keep bumping my head but I'm trying to stay under the radar for most of the week," Kelly said in an e-mail. "Hope you understand ... We'll talk soon enough."

Kelly, of course, was a well-respected offensive co-ordinator under Cal Murphy from 1992 to '96. He has said several times that he believed he should have been hired as the head coach instead of the man who got the job to replace Murphy, Jeff Reinebold.

Bauer, who was the Bombers assistant GM to Murphy for the first four years Kelly was in Winnipeg, declined to say which candidate he had approached. But it was not Saskatchewan's defensive co-ordinator Richie Hall because the Bombers have not asked official permission to approach him yet, Roughriders GM Eric Tillman said.

"Richie was just in here this afternoon and he hasn't heard a thing," Tillman said.

Other candidates include Bombers defensive co-ordinator Greg Marshall and former Riders head coach Danny Barrett.

"I understand there's interest in this but this week is about Calgary and Montreal in the Grey Cup," said Bauer, adding that he will quietly continue the search this week.

The Toronto Argonauts, who are also seeking a new head coach, are reportedly interested in Barrett, now coaching at a Buffalo college, and former Saskatchewan head mentor Kent Austin, now coaching at Ole Miss.

Calgary Stampeders offensive co-ordinator George Cortez is also believed to be a candidate for both jobs but cannot be officially approached this week.


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