Candidates lining up for Bombers coaching position

KIRK PENTON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:50 AM ET

A couple of familiar faces to the West have expressed varying levels of interest in returning to Manitoba.

Paul LaPolice, the former Bombers offensive co-ordinator, said yesterday that he would like to apply for the team's heading coach position, while Brendan Taman's curiosity has been piqued by the organization wanting to fill a GM-type role that was vacated, coincidentally, when he resigned in January after 10 years on Maroons Road.

LaPolice and Taman both work for the Saskatchewan Roughriders. LaPolice is the offensive co-ordinator, while Taman is the director of football administration.

LaPolice said he has never applied for a CFL head coaching job before, but he said his decision to go after the Winnipeg position would be the "logical next step" in his 10-year CFL coaching career.

"Any time there's a head coaching position, you look at the possibility of moving up," LaPolice said yesterday from Regina.

LaPolice's wife, Tina, is from Winnipeg.

LaPolice would be considered a long shot to get the Bombers job, but he has shown the ability to lead productive offences in his four seasons as an OC. He had the role in Winnipeg in 2002 and 2003, and then in Saskatchewan in 2008 and this year.

In each of those seasons his offences were among the top four in the league when it came to points scored.

'Place in heart'

Meanwhile, Taman told the Sun on Thursday he "always had a special place in my heart for that place."

He sounded like someone who wouldn't mind giving it another go in Winnipeg if the opportunity presented itself.

"My football fire's been lit again," Taman said, stressing that he remains under contract with the Roughriders.

"I want to get back into it, definitely. Whether it's there or here or wherever. I'm a football guy. The six months off was great for me. And this job is great for me, too."

The future of current Riders GM Eric Tillman (which is another name being linked to Winnipeg) is hazy, as he is scheduled to go to trial in early January on a summary charge of sexual assault.

The Riders hired Taman in June to help bridge the gap between the club and Tillman, who worked out of his home office all season.

Another uncertainty in Winnipeg is the future of director of player personnel John Murphy, who was hired by Mike Kelly and Lyle Bauer.

It's believed Murphy has a clause in his contract that stipulates there can be no one above him on the football operations chain of command. If that's the case, the Bombers would either have to give him the vice-president of football operations job or cut him loose if they wanted to hire someone else.

The Bomber board of directors conducted an administrative meeting yesterday to go over football matters that needed attention and start setting the hiring conditions for the organization's new president and CEO, head coach and VP of football ops. They did not begin reviewing potential candidates.

"We're not even close to that part of the process yet," board chairman Ken Hildahl said.

The board hopes to set the structure of its football operations department by tomorrow or Tuesday.

kirk.penton@sunmedia.ca


Photos