Harris won't get in way of Marshall

PAUL FRIESEN, QMI AGENCY

, Last Updated: 10:20 AM ET

He was one of the finalists for the head coaching job in Toronto a year ago, and applied for the gig in Saskatchewan when it last opened.

So you'd think Winnipeg assistant coach Richard Harris would be all over the opening created when Mike Kelly was fired by the Blue Bombers.

You'd think wrong.

Harris hasn't asked to be considered, nor will he.

The reason: his respect for another candidate.

"I've been asked why I haven't thrown my hat into the ring," Harris began, in an interview with the Sun. "My answer to that is a conflict of interest. I love Greg Marshall. I would love to see him get the opportunity that he has so long deserved. Greg would be a great coach for this."

Harris worked under Marshall here, when Marshall was Winnipeg's defensive co-ordinator from 2006-08. The two also worked together in Ottawa in '05.

His respect for Marshall means he'll forgo an opportunity to move up, despite the fact those opportunities, at 61 years of age, are running out.

"Maybe I shouldn't be coming out right now. It may make me appear biased," Harris said. "But I think Greg would be the person that could tie us back into the community the way that we should be. And I don't want to get in his way. Other than that, I would probably be in the mix of things."

Candidate in Toronto

Marshall is also a candidate for the opening in Toronto, created when Bart Andrus was fired.

Harris is a 10-year veteran of the CFL coaching ranks. He's been a Bomber assistant the last four years, also having worked in Ottawa and B.C.

He has plenty of head coaching experience with indoor and semi-pro football in the U.S. northwest.

"It's something I would like to do before I'm done with this," Harris said. "I'm looking at probably retiring in the next three to five years. If it comes about before that, I would be happy. If not, I have lived a complete life in the football coaching ranks. And I would be happy with everything that I've done."

Harris isn't the only Bomber assistant with designs on advancing.

Receivers coach Bobby Dyce, with eight years under his belt, says the Bomber job would interest him, but stopped short of saying he's applied for it.

"Any coach, his ultimate goal is to be a head coach," Dyce said. "If they wanted to come talk to me about that position I would definitely speak to them and give them what I think some of my attributes are."


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