Blue Bombers fire GM Joe Mack, CEO Garth Buchko

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers fired GM Joe Mack on Friday. (JASON HALSTEAD/QMI Agency)

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers fired GM Joe Mack on Friday. (JASON HALSTEAD/QMI Agency)

KIRK PENTON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:40 PM ET

WINNIPEG - The Winnipeg Blue Bombers not only fired general manager Joe Mack today, the board of directors cleaned house completely, sending president/CEO Garth Buchko packing, as well.

The drama didn’t stop there, as the board immediately hired former player and local entrepreneur Wade Miller as the acting CEO, giving him full control of the entire organization, on and off the field.

Board chairman Brock Bulbuck told a hastily called news conference Buchko’s future was already under review before word leaked Thursday that Buchko was going to fire Mack.

The leak, which he called “unethical” and “abhorrent,” hastened the decision, Bulbuck said.

The chairman acknowledged Buchko inherited some difficult issues, such as the difficult move into the new stadium, but was ultimately to blame for the team’s decline.

“Clearly things have not been going in the right direction, and our record speaks for itself,” Bulbuck said. “At the end of the day the board in its capacity determined the club needed to move and move now in a new direction in its most senior position.”

Bulbuck says despite the interim CEO title, Miller has a “clear mandate to do what he does best, and that’s to roll up his sleeves, motivate people and effect the kind of change that will move the WFC in a different direction, starting now.”

Some 12 hours of board meetings over the last two nights led to Buchko’s ouster this morning, Bulbuck saying he delivered the news, likely over the phone, as Buchko was on a family vacation in the U.S.

At the same time, Miller, exercising his new authority, made the phone call to Mack, who Miller says handled the news professionally and wished the team well.

Miller says his first order of business will be to review the football operation, adding he has confidence in head coach Tim Burke.

He cited his experience in both business and football, along with his passion and get-it-done attitude, as his strengths.

“I will run the organization the way it needs to be run,” Miller promised. “This community, the fans, the players, this organization, deserves to win. I just want to be a part of helping that out.”

A former special teams standout who made the Bombers out of the University of Manitoba despite his small stature, Miller’s post-playing career includes several business ventures, including Pinnacle, a staff recruitment firm.


Videos

Photos