Marshall law appealing to Bombers veterans

KIRK PENTON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:34 AM ET

Could the third time be the charm for Greg Marshall?

If several veteran members of the Bombers have a say, it better be.

"It's his turn. You can only look over a good coach so long," Bombers middle linebacker Barrin Simpson said yesterday from his Texas home. "With that being said, I thought he deserved the job two or three years ago."

Marshall, currently the Hamilton Tiger-Cats defensive co-ordinator, said yesterday he is interested in Winnipeg's vacant head coaching position and will throw his hat into the ring for the third time.

He lost out to Doug Berry in December 2005, but he still joined the Bombers as their defensive co-ordinator and remained in the role for three seasons. He applied again last December after Berry was fired, but he was a runner-up once again, this time to Mike Kelly.

The Ticats hired Marshall in January, and the two-time CFL all-star played a significant role in turning that franchise around this season.

Marshall, who has pursued at least half a dozen CFL head coaching jobs without success, has no bitter feelings towards the Bombers after two failed attempts to become their head man.

"I enjoyed my time there, and I believe I left on good terms as I try to always do," Marshall said yesterday from Burlington, Ont.

Marshall said the Bombers haven't contacted him, but he noted that's normal procedure in the days following a firing. Marshall is also interested in the Toronto Argonauts' head coaching vacancy.

There are rumblings that several members of the Bombers board of directors want Marshall to be the head coach, but the new president and CEO could end up having a say in the matter.

After the Kelly debacle of 2009, Bombers defensive tackle Doug Brown said Marshall would be a great fit for the Blue and Gold.

"He's a perfect balance between accountability and responsibility and moral fibre, as well as being a guy you can like and want to play for," Brown said.

"He's enough of a player's coach where he can incite and fuel the passions and fire in the men that follow him. At the same time he knows his Xs and Os. And he understands how to represent organizations and a team.

"I honestly think Greg Marshall has never got a head coaching job in the CFL because he's not a yes-man. He is not going to tell you what you want to hear in order to get a job. He's too upstanding of a guy."

Bombers centre Obby Khan doesn't even play defence, yet he would love to see Marshall land his first pro head coaching gig with the Bombers.

"Absolutely. There's a lot of guys who would love to see that," Khan said. "Greg Marshall is a great coach, very organized coach and passionate. He's one of the most organized coaches I have seen. He puts a lot of work into what he does. So you can only love that part of him."

Other names bouncing around the Bombers coaching job include offensive co-ordinators George Cortez (Calgary), Paul LaPolice (Saskatchewan) and Scott Milanovich (Montreal).

As for the president and CEO position, CFL director of officiating Tom Higgins appears to be a strong candidate, as he and Marshall are good friends from several seasons together in Edmonton.

CFL spokesman Jamie Dykstra said Higgins is on vacation with his family and was unavailable for comment.

Former Bombers linebacker Grant Carter has also thrown his name into the president's race. He lives in Atlanta, where he works as CEO of a company called Team Doctors Preferred Access.

The Bombers are also looking at hiring someone who would fill a GM or vice-president of football operations role. A possibility there, depending on the results of his legal proceedings next month, is Riders GM Eric Tillman.


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