Mike Kelly is confident he'll be back as head coach of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in 2010.
"I know damn well I'll be back," the rookie head coach said Monday morning during his season-ending media availability. "I'm not going anywhere. I came here to do a job. I have, in case you hadn't noticed, a little bit of passion about this job."
The Bombers failed to qualify for the CFL playoffs for the first time in four years after the Hamilton Tiger-Cats pummelled them 39-17 in their regular-season finale on Sunday.
Winnipeg finished third in the East Division with a 7-11 record, but its record was worse than the fourth-place team in the West, the B.C. Lions, who will cross over and meet the Ticats in Sunday's East semifinal.
There are Bomber fans who stopped going to games this season or vow they won't be back next year because of Kelly's bombastic personality. Kelly was asked what he would say to those fans.
"It's not about me," he said. "It's about, 'Are you a Winnipeg Blue Bomber fan?' Period."
The Bomber players are now cleaning out their lockers, holding exit meetings with Kelly and heading home for the off-season.