the Wnninpeg Bluebomber have recently made some switches to their coahcing staff for the upcoming 2020 CFL season. The coaching staff for the bluebombers this season is as follows:
Mike O’Shea- Head Coach
Mike O’Shea enters his seventh season as Head Coach of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in 2020.
On December 13, 2019 — three weeks after helping guide the club to its first Grey Cup championship since 1990 — he signed a contract extension that will take him through the 2022 season.
O’Shea’s role in the build to the 2019 championship has been prominent since he was first named the 30th head coach in franchise history back on December 4, 2013. Preaching discipline and a team-first approach, he has built a culture in which his coaching staff is empowered while his players are eager to play for him.
The Bombers are 56-52 under O’Shea’s watch, and 44-28 over the past four seasons — including four consecutive double-digit win campaigns. The club went 11-7 in 2019 and, in the process, O’Shea moved into third place on the club’s all-time coaching wins list with 56, trailing only two hall of famers in Bud Grant (102 wins) and Cal Murphy (86).
The 2019 Grey Cup championship also means O’Shea joins a select list of coaches who have guided this franchise to 11 Grey Cups dating back to the formation of the Winnipeg Football Club in 1930. That group includes Bob Fritz (1935), Reg Threlfall (1939, 1941), Grant (1958, 1959, 1961, 1962), Murphy (1984) and Mike Riley (1988, 1990) .
The Bombers were 10-8 under O’Shea’s command in 2018, despite opening the season without starting quarterback Matt Nichols for the first three games. The team also enjoyed its first playoff victory since the 2011 Eastern Final, with a 23-18 win over the Saskatchewan Roughriders in Regina in the Western Semi-Final. That result propelled the Bombers to the Western Final, the team’s first division final in six years, where the team fell 22-14 to the eventual Grey Cup champion Calgary Stampeders.
O’Shea led the club to a 12-6 record in 2017, the team’s best record since also going 12-16 in 2002, and finished in second place in the West Division. The club hosted its first-ever playoff game at Investors Group Field since the stadium opened in 2013 and first home playoff game since 2011.
In 2016, the Bombers stumbled to a 1-4 start before going on a 10-3 run to conclude the regular season and finished 11-7, qualifying for the playoffs for the first time in four years.
O’Shea took control of the club in 2014 and began to carve out a team-first mentality – something still very evident today – while the club finished with a 7-11 mark. This was followed by an injury-riddled 2015 season in which his team went 5-13.
O’Shea took the reins after spending four seasons as the Special Teams Coordinator with the Toronto Argonauts, winning a Grey Cup in 2012. He was a three-time Grey Cup champion as a player during his 16-year CFL career, 12 with the Argonauts and four with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. He was part of three Grey Cup championship teams (all with Toronto) in 1996, 1997 and 2004, and in 2017, was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame.
O’Shea played in 271 regular season CFL games, 18 playoff contests and three Grey Cups. The native of North Bay, Ontario, was a five-time Division All-Star (1994, 1995, 1997, 1999, 2000) and was named a CFL All-Star and the league’s Most Outstanding Canadian in 1999. His first league-wide award came in 1993 when he was named the CFL’s Most Outstanding Rookie Player.
In 2006, O’Shea became the first Canadian ever to make at least 1,000 tackles in a career, and in 2007 he was named an All-Time Argo at linebacker.
An advocate for his teammates, O’Shea was a CFLPA player representative for many years and upon leaving the game, he accepted the position of First Vice President for the Players’ Association.
Mike is an alumnus of the University of Guelph and is a member of the Guelph Gryphons Sports Hall of Fame. Mike and his wife Richere have three children: Michael, Ailish and Aisling.
Marty Costello- Offensive Line Coach
Marty Costello enters his fifth year with the Blue Bombers in 2020 and fourth as the club’s offensive line coach.
Costello continues to earn respect for the work he has done with the Bombers offensive line, widely considered one of the most-consistent and dominant units across the Canadian Football League.
Over the past three seasons in particular the Bombers offensive line has had had to boast about, as running back Andrew Harris has captured three consecutive CFL rushing titles, while the offence
finished first in scoring in 2018 and second in 2017.
Winnipeg’s O-line lost two starters in the offseason heading into 2019, with centre Matthias Goossen retiring to work with the Delta Police Department and Sukh Chungh leaving in free agency. As well, the club was without Patrick Neufeld for the first half of the season due to injury. Yet, Costello’s crew continued to provide holes for Harris while protecting three different starting quarterbacks in Matt Nichols, Chris Streveler and Zach Collaros. Winnipeg’s 2,663 yards rushing was the most by the club since 1965, when the team rushed for 3,005 yards in a 16-game season.
Winnipeg allowed 36 sacks against in 2018, tied for second fewest in the CFL while the offence was without starting quarterback Matt Nichols for the first three games of the season and Harris rushed for a career-best 1,390 yards.
In 2017, Costello’s offensive line helped propel Andrew Harris to a league-leading 1,035 yards rushing, and allowed the fewest quarterback pressures in the CFL at 71.
Costello first came to Winnipeg in 2016 to serve as assistant offensive line coach to Bob Wylie. Prior to joining Winnipeg, Costello spent two seasons at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point as run-game coordinator and offensive line coach. In his first season, the team put up 114.8 rushing yards per game and was third in the conference with 14 rushing touchdowns.
Before UWSP, Costello coached at Valley City State. He started as co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, and for his final three seasons, was promoted to offensive coordinator and offensive line coach. His team at Valley City State won three consecutive conference championships.
Buck Pierce- Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks Coach
The 2020 season will be the seventh for Pierce as a member of the team’s coaching staff, including four years as the quarterbacks coach and two previously tutoring the running backs.
He has been a highly-pursued assistant across the Canadian Football League over the past few seasons, opting instead to stay in Winnipeg and continue working with the Bombers.
The 2019 campaign was both challenging and rewarding for the Bombers offensively as the club used three different starting quarterbacks following injuries to Matt Nichols and Chris Streveler and the October trade to acquire Zach Collaros, who when went 4-0 in his starts en route to victory in the 107th Grey Cup.
Yet the Bombers still finished second in the CFL in offensive touchdowns in 2019 (45) and third in points (24.6) while leading the league in rushing (147.9 yards per game) and time of possession (32 minutes and two seconds).
The Bombers also finished first in offensive points scored in 2018 despite losing Nichols for three games to open the season, and second in scoring in 2017.
During his most recent time as the Bombers’ quarterback coach, Pierce helped Nichols move into the club’s Top 10 passing yardage list while posting career-best statistics. Pierce played a role in the development of Streveler who, in 2018, not only became the CFL’s first straight-from-college quarterback to start an opener in 24 years, but over the past two seasons became one of the league’s most dangerous two-way threats at the position. As well, following the trade for Collaros, Pierce was instrumental in helping the quarterback in his crash course of the Bombers’ offence for the team’s memorable run in the playoffs.
Buck retired from the CFL on March 4, 2014 and three days after that announcement joined the Bombers coaching staff as the running backs coach, a post he held for two seasons. His nine seasons as a CFL quarterback were played with the Bombers and B.C. Lions, and he finished with 15,289 passing yards with 76 touchdowns in 130 games played.
One of the most popular players to don a Bomber uniform during his playing days, Pierce was traded to the B.C. Lions in September of 2013 after spending close to four seasons in Winnipeg. The Kansas-born pivot became a true Winnipegger throughout that time, laying deep roots in the Manitoba capital, both personally and professionally. He is involved in countless community initiatives including Special Olympics Manitoba, Manitoba Minor Football, Ronald McDonald House, Faces of Freedom, The Dream Factory and United Way after school programs.
Richie Hall-Defensive Coordinator
Richie Hall returns for his fifth season as Defensive Coordinator of the Blue Bombers and will continue his long association with the Canadian Football League, first as a player and now as a coach.
Hall’s defence was solid in 2019 and absolutely stellar when it mattered most — in the club’s playoff run, culminating with a victory in the 107th Grey Cup.
The Bombers allowed just 39 points against in the three playoff games — limiting Calgary to 14 in the Western Semi-Final, Saskatchewan to 13 in the Western Final and Hamilton to 12 in the Grey Cup. At the same time the defence forced 14 turnovers in the playoffs, including seven in the championship game.
Hall has now been a part of four Grey Cup teams, winning three as a defensive coordinator (including 2007 and 2013 with Saskatchewan and 2019 with the Bombers). He was also a key member of the Roughriders 1989 Grey Cup Championship team.
The Bombers finished fifth in points allowed (22.7) during the regular season and second in forced turnovers (45) and interceptions (24). Two defensive players were named to the CFL All-Star Team in defensive end Willie Jefferson and cornerback Winston Rose, with Jefferson also honoured as the CFL’s Most Outstanding Defensive Player.
The Bombers made significant improvements defensively in 2018, ultimately finishing second in points allowed (20.8 per game), second in touchdowns allowed (42), second in passing touchdowns allowed (15) while finishing tied for first in turnovers forced (49) and in the turnover ratio (+13). Those numbers represented an improvement of 5.8 points allowed and 55 yards per game from the 2017 season. Over the past three years, the defence has forced 150 turnovers, more than any other CFL team.
The defensive dominance was best represented by middle linebacker Adam Bighill being named the CFL’s Most Outstanding Defensive Player, the first Bomber to be so honoured since Jovon Johnson in 2011.
In 2017, Bombers led the CFL in interceptions for the second straight season with 24 and finished second in turnovers forced with 42. The 2017 Bombers defence also finished third in quarterback pressures with 116 and fifth overall in points allowed at 27.3 points per game, while three players – safety Taylor Loffler, halfback T.J. Heath and cornerback Chris Randle – were all named to the CFL All-Star Team.
Hall’s defence led the CFL with 55 takeaways in 2016 – including 30 interceptions – 13 more than the second-best team in that category, and were second in points allowed, while Heath and Loffler were both named CFL All-Stars in their rookie seasons.
Hall’s first season as the club’s defensive boss saw three first-year defensive players excel: defensive end Jamaal Westerman finished second in the league in sacks with 17; defensive back Johnny Adams finished tied for the league lead in interceptions with six; and linebacker Khalil Bass finished with 102 tackles – the most ever by a first-year Bomber and one of only six times a Bomber defender has broken 100 tackles.
Hall saw major success with the Saskatchewan Roughriders prior to joining Winnipeg, winning the Grey Cup in 2013 while posting the league’s number-one ranked defence. The league-low 398 points allowed was the lowest total by the Riders since 2002 and second lowest total since the CFL moved to an 18-game schedule in 1986. The team led the league with 24 interceptions while allowing a league-low 36 touchdowns.
Previous to his time in Regina, Hall was the head coach of the Edmonton Eskimos for two seasons (2009, 2010), recording a 16-20 mark and making the playoffs in his first of two seasons there.
Hall was part of the Riders coaching staff for 15 seasons prior to joining Edmonton, spending eight years as defensive coordinator and developing a reputation for fielding a top defence year after year.
Before moving into his coaching role, Hall spent nine years playing in the CFL including four seasons with the Roughriders from 1988-1991. During his nine-year career, Hall saw action in 153 regular season CFL games. He was a member of the Western Division All-Star Team on four occasions; 1983 and 1986 with the Calgary Stampeders, and 1988 and 1990 in Saskatchewan. Hall was also named All-CFL for Outstanding Rookie Performance in 1983 with the Stampeders. In 1990, Roughrider fans voted Hall the Roughriders’ Most Popular Player. He was named as the club’s nominee for Outstanding Defensive Player in 1988.
Hall was born in San Antonio, Texas. He played college football at Colorado State University for the Rams and signed with the Stampeders as a free agent in 1983 following his college career.
With a continued commitment to community involvement, Hall was recognized by the CFLPA in 1990 by winning the Tom Pate award for his outstanding dedication to the CFL, the community and his performances on the field.
James Stanley- Pass Game Analyst
James Stanley will be entering his third season with the Bombers after joining the club as a defensive assistant in April of 2018.
Stanley has played an important role in the Bombers defensive success over the past two seasons, as he was part of the staff that devised the game plan for the team’s successful championship run. The Bombers defence surrendered just 39 points in three playoff games in winning the Grey Cup.
During the regular season, the Bombers finished fifth in points allowed (22.7) during the regular season and second in forced turnovers (45) and interceptions (24).
In 2018, as the club finished second in points, touchdowns and passing touchdowns allowed while leading the the league in forcing turnovers.
Prior to coming aboard with the Bombers, Stanley spent five seasons with Hamilton as defensive backs coach.During his time with the Tiger-Cats, Stanley coached multiple defensive backs to CFL All-Star status, including Delvin Breaux in 2014, and Emanuel Davis and Craig Butler in 2015.
Previously, Stanley helped the Toronto Argonauts capture the 100th Grey Cup Championship in 2012 while serving as linebackers. He began his CFL coaching career as a defensive assistant with the Calgary Stampeders in 2011, working specifically with the secondary.
In 2010, Stanley was a special-teams quality control and defensive assistant coach with the United Football League’s Hartford Colonials, while later serving as a defensive coaching intern with the Cleveland Browns of the NFL. He also spent part of the 2009 season as a special teams and secondary intern coach with the NFL’s Detroit Lions.
Glen Young- Linebackers & Defensive Line Coach
The 2019 season will mark the fourth with the Bombers for Glen Young, and second in a dual role as the linebacker and defensive line coach.
Much of the improvements the Bombers made defensively in 2018 were related to the work of the team’s front seven. Winnipeg finished with the second fewest points allowed (20.8 points per game) while finishing tied for forced turnovers (49) and sacks (45). Those improvements were directly related to linebacker Adam Bighill being named the CFL’s Most Outstanding Defensive Player.
In 2017, the Bombers defence finished third in the league in both quarterback pressures and turnovers, with 116 pressures and 28 turnovers.
Born in Scarborough, Ont., Young played pro football for 13 years, spending time in both the CFL and National Football League with the Montreal Alouettes, Toronto Argonauts, Edmonton Eskimos, and San Diego Chargers.
Originally drafted by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in 1992, Young began his pro career with the Chargers in 1995, suiting up for 22 NFL games over two seasons. He came north to the CFL in 1998 with the Argos and suited up for 122 CFL games, registering 262 tackles and seven sacks, and also won two Grey Cups with the Eskimos (2003, 2005) before retiring prior to the start of the 2006 season.
Young joined the Bombers after spending three seasons at The College at Brockport as the team’s defensive coordinator and assistant head coach. Before that, he spent time at Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia as the team’s linebackers coach and special-teams coordinator. During his tenure there, the Tigers posted a 41-9 record.
Jordan Younger- Defensive Backs Coach
Jordan Younger returns in 2020 for his third season as the club’s defensive backs coach. He had previously held the same role with the Toronto Argonauts in 2015-2016.
Younger earned a great deal of praise for the work he did with the Bombers secondary in 2019, as the club finished second in interceptions with 24, including a league-leading nine by cornerback Winston Rose.
Rose was named a Canadian Football League All-Star in 2019, his first with the Bombers, while Marcus Sayles was named a West Division All-Star. Both those players parlayed their success into opportunities in the National Football League — Rose with Cincinnati, Sayles with Minnesota.
The Bombers started 11 different players in the secondary in 2019 and Younger played a critical role in keeping that unit consistent throughout the year and especially in the playoff push.
Younger’s first year with the Bombers brought instant results for the secondary, as the Bombers improved from last in passing yardage surrendered in 2017 to fifth in 2018. Winnipeg also surrendered the fewest completions of 30-yards or more in the entire CFL with 19, and finished with the second best opponent quarterback pass-efficiency rating against.
As a player, Younger’s professional football career spanned 12 years, nine of which were in the Canadian Football League with the Toronto Argonauts (2004-07, 09-12) and Edmonton Eskimos (2008). As an Argonaut, he was a three-time East Division All-Star and two-time CFL All-Star, and a leader both on the field and in the locker room. Younger won two Grey Cup championships with Toronto (2004, 2012). He was also voted the Argonauts’ defensive captain in his final season as a player when he helped the team hoist the 100th Grey Cup in Toronto.
Born in New Jersey, Younger played his college ball at the University of Connecticut. He began his pro football career with the Arizona Cardinals before starring for three seasons in Europe with the Amsterdam Admirals and Rhein Fire. He also spent time with the Washington Redskins and the AFL’s Indiana Firebirds.
Younger has gained valuable coaching experience with the Ontario Football Conference’s Oakville Titans and in the CIS with the University of Toronto Varsity Blues, and works to develop today’s up-and-coming football stars as the Executive Director of the International Developmental Fast Football League (IDFFL).
Paul Boudreau- Special Teams Coordinator
Paul Boudreau enters his fifth season leading the Bombers special teams in 2020.
The Bombers remain one of the most innovative and consistent special teams units under his leadership and enjoyed a superb 2019 campaign.
Winnipeg finished third in both punt and kickoff-return average last season, and the team’s four kick-return touchdowns was second in the league to Hamilton, which had five. As well, the Bombers were the least-penalized team on special-teams, allowed the lowest punt-return average in the league and the fewest ‘big-play’ returns. Winnipeg’s three blocked kicks in 2019 also tied for most in the CFL.
In 2018, the Bombers led the CFL by blocking three kicks while finishing with the third fewest penalties and six return touchdowns. And in 2017, Boudreau’s special teams unit allowed the fewest return TDs and had the second highest average kickoff yards in the CFL.
Previous to joining the Bombers, Boudreau spent four seasons as the assistant special teams coach with the St. Louis Rams. In 2014, his squad was seventh in the NFL in punt coverage. One year earlier, his team paced the league, allowing just 2.6 yards per punt return.
Before jumping to the NFL, Boudreau spent 16 years coaching at the collegiate level. During that span, he coached quarterbacks, wide receivers, and running backs, as well as acting as Widener University’s Passing Game Coordinator.
Kevin Bourgoin- Receivers Coach
Kevin Bourgoin returns in 2020 for his fourth season with the club and first in the his new role as receivers coach after previously working with the running backs.
The Bombers had incredible success running the ball over the past three years, with Andrew Harris winning three consecutive rushing titles and the Bombers leading the Canadian Football League with 147.9 yards rushing in 2019, after leading the league in the same category in both 2017 and 2018.
Winnipeg’s 2,663 yards rushing was the most by the club since 1965, when the team rushed for 3,005 yards in a 16-game season.
Winnipeg averaged 134.9 yards rushing per game in 2018, as Harris set a career high with 1,390 yards along the ground. The Bombers also paced the CFL with 23 rushing touchdowns.
In 2017, his first season in the position, Bourgoin helped the Bombers become the leading rushing unit in the CFL with an average of 101.3 yards per game. Harris led the league in rushing yards at 1,035 to earn his first career rushing title and set a new CFL record for receptions by a running back with 105, earning the league’s Most Outstanding Canadian Player Award in the process.
Prior to joining the Bombers, Bourgoin was the associate head coach for the University of Maine from March 2007 to January 2016. In that span, he was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. He also spent time coaching wide receivers, tight ends, and fullbacks at Maine from 2005-2006. In total, Bourgoin spent 15 seasons at the University of Maine, coaching a variety of offensive positions. He has also held the position of receivers coach at Brown University for five seasons. Bourgoin started his coaching career at Colby in 1997, coaching receivers and tight ends.
Pete Costanza- Running Backs Coach
Pete Costanza joins the Bombers staff in 2020 as Running Backs Coach after spending the past 12 seasons as the receivers coach with the Calgary Stampeders, where he was part of three Grey Cup winning teams.
Costanza helped play a role in the development of a number of receivers during his time with the Stampeders, including Reggie Begelton, Eric Rogers, Hervy Mayala, Nik Lewis, DaVaris Daniels, Kamar Jorden and Marquay McDaniel.
Prior to joining the Stamps in 2009, Costanza was the head coach of the Albany Conquest in the Arena Football League 2 and spent the AFL2 offseason working as the defensive backs coach at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He got his start in coaching in 1997 with the New Jersey Red Dogs, during which time John Hufnagel was the team’s head coach.
The Winnipeg coaching staff are looking forward to another great season, and are hoping to repeat last year's successful Grey Cup championship run.