Winnipeg Blue Bombers general manager Kyle Walters and head coach Mike O’Shea have agreed to three-year contract extension.
Walters is now signed with the club through 2020 while O’Shea’s deal runs through 2019.
“Since we began this journey together three seasons ago, we have maintained that stability and continuity in the organization are paramount,” said Blue Bombers president and CEO Wade Miller in a statement. “Although we have yet to reach our ultimate goal, both of these men are extremely critical in the foundation of Blue Bombers football, and we are thrilled to have them continuing to build a winning football operations department for years to come.”
The 43-year-old Walters is heading into his fourth season as general manager after spending two seasons as the team’s special teams coordinator, them moving into the front office as an assistant to Joe Mack in 2013. Mack was fired after a 1-5 start and Walters got the job on an interim basis before being named to the job full-time before the 2014 season.
O’Shea led Winnipeg to an 11-7 record in his third season with the Bombers, good enough for third place in the West Division. The playoff berth was the franchise’s first in the past five seasons.
There had been speculation early in the 2016 season that O’Shea’s job could be in jeopardy, particularly after the team started 1-4. But the emergence of quarterback Matt Nichols and the development of a defence that led the league in takeaways helped turn the team’s fortunes around.
The Bombers lost 32-31 in the West Semi-Final after O’Shea elected to try to have all-star kicker Justin Medlock try a 64-yard field goal instead of going for it on third-and-four. Medlock was well short.
O’Shea began his coaching career with the Toronto Argonauts in 2010 after 16 seasons as a player with Hamilton and Toronto.