WINNIPEG - Former Winnipeg Blue Bombers head coach Bud Riley passed away on Saturday in Penticton, B.C.
He was 86.
Riley, the father of former Bomber coach Mike Riley, guided the Blue and Gold between 1974 and 1977. Riley had a winning record during his tenure, going 34-28-2 over his four seasons and making the playoffs three times.
“The Riley family has great ties to our organization, and Mr. Bud Riley was a big part of our franchise and our great league throughout his career,” Bombers president and CEO Garth Buchko said in a statement. “Our condolences go out to the Riley family at this time.”
Riley was born and raised in Guin, Ala., and coached all the way to the U.S. collegiate level at the University of Idaho, which he joined in 1962. He came to the CFL in 1973, joining the Saskatchewan Roughriders as their defensive co-ordinator.
Riley also coached the Calgary Stampeders, Roughriders, Toronto Argonauts, Hamilton Tiger-Cats and Edmonton Eskimos during his 12-year CFL career.
WHITAKER GOES WILD
One of the more troubling aspects for Winnipeg in Friday’s 36-26 loss to Montreal had to be Als running back Brandon Whitaker having another field day, just a few weeks after he ran roughshod over them at Molson Stadium.
Whitaker had 235 combined yards and three touchdowns in Montreal’s 41-30 win on July 6, and he added 179 more in just three quarters of action on Friday against the Bombers before leaving with a rib injury.
“They had pretty much the same game plan: try to attack the linebackers with Whitaker in the flat most of the time,” middle linebacker Pierre-Luc Labbe said. “It didn’t go as well for them as far as the pass goes, but rushing-wise it was a bad game for us.”
Weak-side linebacker Marcellus Bowman didn’t play against the Alouettes the first time the teams met, but he was out there on Friday at Canad Inns Stadium and wasn’t impressed with what happened.
“They switched it up a little bit, but at the end of the day everybody has an assignment,” Bowman said. “We know they’re going to use him, and once again we didn’t do good enough; a lot of blown coverages, missed tackles, and when we needed to not bend, we broke. It was just a poor job.”
And it’s not like Whitaker is running rampant against everyone else in the CFL. His outings against the Bombers have resulted in his two best rushing totals and two best receiving totals of the season.