Article About Greg Marshall

Found this in today's Winnipeg Sun.

Anybody wondering if Greg Marshall might still return to run the Winnipeg Blue Bomber defence next year can stop.

The truth is Marshall had no intention of returning for a fourth season even before new head coach Mike Kelly handed him his pink slip.

"It was cordial," Marshall said of his conversation with Kelly. "He just said, 'I'm going to be going in a different direction.' I said, 'Well, quite frankly I was planning on going in a different direction.' My stuff had already been packed and moved out."

Marshall didn't want to elaborate on his reasons for leaving Winnipeg, simply saying a "combination of things" convinced him it was time to move on.

I can think of one pretty good reason: the fact he barely got a sniff of the head coaching job, even though he was a close runner-up to Doug Berry three years ago.

When Bomber president/CEO Lyle Bauer virtually handed the job to Kelly, an old friend from their time together here in the 1990s, he was, in essence, telling Marshall he'd never progress beyond defensive co-ordinator in Winnipeg.

No hard feelings. That's football, right?

Besides, there were opportunities out there, perhaps the best one in Edmonton, where Marshall spent 2000-04 as the defensive boss.

Yesterday, though, Marshall learned he was out of luck there, too. The bridesmaid, again.

This time, he could take solace in the fact the man who beat him out for the job was as deserving of it as he was.

"On a personal basis I'm disappointed," Marshall said. "But I'm happy for Richie Hall. I consider him a very good friend. So if I wasn't able to be the guy, I'm glad for him."

Marshall and Hall began their coaching careers together in Saskatchewan, in 1994, Marshall as the co-ordinator, Hall in charge of the defensive backs.

Hall stayed in Regina for 15 seasons, elevated to co-ordinator for the last eight.

Now that Hall finally landed the top job, the 52-year-old Marshall is the undisputed head-coach-in-waiting.

"Close doesn't do much good," Marshall said. "I mean, it gets a little old, everybody saying, 'You're ready, but,' kind of thing."

If he knew what he was missing, he'd change it.

Unless somebody expected him to be something he's not.

"I won't do that," he said. "It's going to come down to right place at the right time, like some other people have been fortunate to be."

The guy's resume screams for a chance.

A former CFL defensive player of the year, Marshall took over a Bomber defence that was the worst, statistically, the league had ever seen, three years ago.

Soon it was the backbone of the team, before taking a step back this past season.

"This year was probably the most challenging of the three years, just because we didn't have the flexibility, defensively, that we'd had in the past because of the ration changes we had to make," Marshall said. "It kind of locked us into some things."

When head coach Doug Berry used designated import positions for a kicker, kick returner and backup running back, the Bomber defence suffered.

But hey, that's life. Marshall knows you play with the hand you're dealt.

Like a dog that won't give up the scent, he keeps working, his nose now turned to Toronto, the only team still looking for a head coach.

If he doesn't land that gig, then three teams are looking for co-ordinators: the Argos, Eskimos and Saskatchewan.

Oh, there's a fourth team looking, too. But Marshall has been there, done that.

"We did a lot of good things there," he said of his Winnipeg tenure. "I feel pretty good about that."

And that's about as close as Marshall will come to blowing his own horn.

Maybe, just maybe, that's his problem.


He is a great defensive coordinator and Winnipeg will miss him. I hope there's room on a team somewhere to pick this guy up (SSK now that Richie got the nod in EDM??) Or do you think Toronto would take another chance at a defensive coach turned head coach again?

I would be happy to have him here in Sask.

i agree

...Greg has all of the tools to be a successful head coach in this league...I hope T.O. gives him a shot....failing that...the hammer could use a guy of Marshals abilities....He took the Bombers defence to a higher level...and we thank him for that...It was definitely time to move on, as Kelly has his own ideas on how to put things together...No different than what happened in Cal. last year or Mont....New head coaches surround themselves with 'their' type of people.....just the natural progression of the system.. :wink:

I"m sure Hamilton would be happy to have him…not sure about Toronto, I guess there much depends on who they eventually hire as head coach. They don’t seem too keen on him as HC for some reason, but depending on who they hire as head coach, that person may want him as DC.

If he had his choice I guess it depends on what he’d like to work with…a defence with a lot of young guys and new guys so there’s potential but has been a disaster the past few years, or a more veteran defence that has fallen on hard times.

You have to wonder why he never gets the HC gig…he’s sure applied for enough, but always the bridesmaid. He must give lousy interviews or something.

I think Hall's first move as Edmonton's new coach should be to get Rick Campbell fired. Then he can have Marshall brought in. :smiley:

OK, so I'm just being greedy now. :lol: