The turtle derby to become the Winnipeg Blue Bombers defensive co-ordinator has a new contender.
After getting spurned by both Richie Hall and Corey Chamblin, it appears Bomber head coach Paul LaPolice is now attempting to pry Alouettes defensive co-ordinator Tim Burke out of Montreal.
Burke has spent the past three seasons with the Alouettes as their DC and defensive backs coach. Montreal made it to the Grey Cup all three years, winning the last two championships, and its defences were always one of the league’s top-ranked units.
Burke’s contract status with the Alouettes isn’t clear, but LaPolice would likely have no trouble appointing Burke as his assistant head coach if a “promotion” is needed to get him out of Quebec. There is also the possibility that Burke isn’t currently contractually obligated to the Alouettes for the 2011 season.
Coincidentally, Burke was one of the candidates to become the Bomber head coach last winter before GM Joe Mack ultimately picked LaPolice.
After Kavis Reed left the Bombers in December to join the Edmonton Eskimos as their new head coach, LaPolice said he wanted to replace him with someone who had plenty of CFL experience on the defensive side of the ball.
There aren’t many qualified candidates remaining, but Burke would certainly fit that bill as he spent three seasons on the Calgary Stampeders defensive staff before joining the Alouettes. The Cedar Rapids, Iowa, native started out as the secondary coach in Cowtown and became the defensive co-ordinator midway through the 2007 season when Denny Creehan was fired.
Before coming to the CFL in 2004, Burke spent 27 years in the NCAA ranks and was on the defensive side of the ball for all but two of those seasons.
Burke has even coached close to Winnipeg before, guiding the University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux secondary from 1986 to 1988.