Coach of the Year


O’Shea a half a horse behind, followed by Porky Campbell. Rest of them well up the track!

But aye, here’s the rub. Can anyone remember an average or below average player who went on to become a great coach - winning at least one Coach of the Year awards?
I’ve racked my pea brain and I can’t come up with one.
Joe Zaleski was a below average QB in Winnipeg in the early 50s but he went on to become a well below average CFL head coach.

Wally Buono was a slightly above average to average Canuck LB - then a hall of fame coach.

Others who might qualify.

  • Bob O’Billovich?

Most coaching greats were either non-players or very good players (ie. Bud Grant, Hugh Campbell, Ron Lancaster, Jackie Parker, Tom Wilkinson, Dave Dickenson, O’Shea, etc.)

Any help here? Who’s the last coach of the year who was a sub-average CFL player? (like Dinwiddie)

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John Hufnagel was an ‘okay’/‘competent’ quarterback who went on to be an outstanding coach and GM.


Huffer is a good example but even Huffer had a far more distinguished career than Ryan Dinwiddie.
O’Billovich, the man of 1 short-sleeved 1955 shirt was the closest but even O.B. had a couple seasons where he was eastern all-star.
Toy Bulldog, Ray Jauch was prolly the closest to Dinwiddie. Despite Jauch’s obvious human deficiencies he was able to coax a couple teams to championship levels. Things really went south for him last season or so in Winnipeg.

Then there’s Wade Miller. He washed out as a linebacker but became a really good special teams player when he was moved to fullback. When he retired and became our GM/CEO he became the first link in the chain that brought us Kyle Walters.

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Wadzilla (Wad Miller) was a 5’9", 220 lb. indescribable bundle of dynamo who was as hapless a full back as the Bombers ever rostered. (Think Fred Figeruroa) but once he found his calling as a special teams demon, Miller prospered, usually riding tandem with a more agile & speedier individual but using his smarts to break free from defenders and haul down his prey. Still holds the team record for ST tackles if I’m not mistaken. . . . . which translated means Bomber teams of Miller’s playing era were often punting like tehre was no tomorrow.
Miller, age 51 is now a svelte 5’8", 354 lb. perennial executive of the year in the CFL.

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I really don’t see any competition for Dinwiddie to be honest.

O’Shea, maybe? But I don’t think he will.

Ryan’s got this locked up


He had some extraordinary record as a college player, hardly lost a game if any. So he knows something about winning on a consistent basis.

On players who became great coaches, perhaps Jack Gotta and George Brancato qualify? Hugh Campbell was an outstanding player but who foresaw his success in coaching?

And this Pinball fellow who had some luck in Toronto when he coached…does anyone know if he ever amounted to anything as a player in Canada?

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Dinwiddie. you can’t go 16-2 and not have him as coach of the year. he brought the culture Toronto was needing. He turned the team around faster than O’Shea did in Winnipeg, though Winnipeg was far more broken.

I don’t know if Ray Jauch was ever coach of the year but he only played a few years before blowing up his achilles. He had some good years coaching but don’t remember if he ever got a cup or COTY.

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(Ray) Jauch coached football in the CFL from 1970 to 1982. He coached the Edmonton Eskimos from 1970 to 1976. He had a 64–43–4 record, appearing in three Grey Cups, winning in 1975, and won the Annis Stukus Trophy for coach of the year in 1970. He stepped down as head coach following the 1976 season to become director of football operations.


Thanks. I was reading about Jauch’s history but I couldn’t recall if they mentioned anything about his Edmonton days beyond the fact he was with them before taking over in Winnipeg (what I was reading was more focused on his time in Winnipeg as I believe it it was Bombers focused article. Not a general audience article.)


I met Coach Jauch one day when I was age 12 or 13. My brother and I happened to be playing Pop Warner Football that fall and our folks took us for a quick day trip to the states. Mom probably needed some duty free booze for the Christmas cake she’d be baking soon and Dad took any excuse he could get to hop in the car for a road trip. Anyway, we were chewing peanuts and tossing them on the floor in some Fargo eatery when we happened to notice Ray at the table next to ours. He was probably chewing peanuts at the time and throwing them on the floor like everyone else but I honestly can’t remember for sure. I DO remember walking up to him and asking, “Duh… are you Ray Jauch?”

He was such a nice guy. He asked my brother and I what position we played (we were both O-linemen) and assured us that he was always looking for players who played those positions. No other players could make it to the big leagues. Just those ones. I think we could’ve said ‘Waterboy’ and he’d have still gotten our hopes up for a career in the pros. :grin:


That’s an awesome story! Thanks tons for sharing it! He sounds like a really nice guy.

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