Taman in the mix for Bombers vice-president of football ops

WINNIPEG — Brendan Taman will get a shot at returning to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

WINNIPEG — Brendan Taman will get a shot at returning to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

The Bombers board of directors has received permission from the Saskatchewan Roughriders to talk to Taman about its vice-president of football operations vacancy.

Taman spent 10 years with the Bombers, the last five as general manager, before resigning last January. He cited a need for a break from football, but joined the Roughriders in July as its director of football administration.

“I would be interested in the (Winnipeg) position as I believe that club needs to get things corrected on and off the field on how they go about their business,” Taman said in an email Monday night.

“I have learned a lot in my tenure in Winnipeg and elsewhere and I know how to do it right with a lot less limitations going forward than with what I had to deal with previously.”

The Bombers are looking to fill positions for a vice-president of football operations, head coach and president/chief executive officer after a staff shake-up earlier this month following a 7-11 CFL season.

Lyle Bauer resigned as Winnipeg’s president and CEO on Dec. 17 and later that night the board fired head coach Mike Kelly after learning he’d been arrested in the morning on charges of simple assault and harassment in an alleged domestic dispute with his ex-girlfriend at his Bridgeport, Pa., home.

His first court appearance is scheduled for Jan. 14.

Bombers board chairman Ken Hildahl said ideally they’d like to hire the VP first so that person could have input in selecting a head coach.

The search committee hasn’t yet complied a short list of VP candidates, but expects to begin interviews in early January.

“Given the holiday season, there haven’t been a lot of meetings yet,” Hildahl said Tuesday. “But there has been significant interest expressed by a number of potential candidates.”

Taman had a good relationship with Bomber staff, fans and media during his tenure, which included signings and trades that brought in talent such as quarterback Khari Jones, receiver Terrence Edwards and running backs Charles Roberts and Fred Reid.

After Kelly was hired last December, Taman’s title was changed to vice-president of player personnel. He resigned shortly after.

Taman, who’s spent more than 20 years in the CFL, isn’t the only experienced personnel man interested in the Winnipeg VP opening.

Montreal Alouettes scout and longtime CFL executive Mike McCarthy confirmed Tuesday he’s attracted to the job.

“Would I be interested if contacted? Yes,” McCarthy said from his Stoney Creek, Ont., home. “Why wouldn’t I be? It would be a great opportunity with an outstanding organization.”

McCarthy has been a scout for the Alouettes the past two seasons.

He’s been involved in three pro football leagues and began his CFL career in 1985 with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats as director of player personnel.

He’s also worked for the B.C. Lions, Toronto Argonauts and Ottawa Rough Riders in positions such as president, CEO and GM.

He’s most remembered for some eye-opening deals he brokered while Toronto’s vice-president of football operations and GM from 1989-93.

McCarthy brought QB Matt Dunigan to the Argonauts in 1990 and lured former NFLer Raghib (Rocket) Ismail to the squad in ’91. The Argos captured the Grey Cup in ’91 and Ismail was named the game’s most valuable player.

The Bombers board could also hire from within.

The interim vice-president of football operations is Ross Hodgkinson, who’s told the board he’d like to make the job permanent.

“I’ve indicated to the board that I’m certainly interested in that position,” Hodgkinson said. “In the meantime, I understand that we need to continue to move forward and keep doing the day-to-day things necessary for the betterment of the team.”

Hodgkinson has climbed the football ladder after starting his CFL career in 1977 as Toronto’s assistant athletic trainer.

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