Manitoba

Bombers promote Jordan Younger to defensive co-ordinator, name Mike Miller top special teams coach

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers promoted defensive backs coach Jordan Younger to defensive co-ordinator on Monday, and named Mike Miller the new special teams co-ordinator.

Richie Hall to remain on Winnipeg's defensive staff, head coach Mike O'Shea says

A football player celebrates with a trophy.
Jordan Younger was promoted to defensive co-ordinator of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers on Monday. He stands with the Grey Cup during a parade in November 2012 after the Toronto Argonauts won the 100th edition of the CFL's championship game. (Chris Young/The Canadian Press)

Mike O'Shea has the best of both worlds.

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers promoted defensive backs coach Jordan Younger to defensive co-ordinator on Monday. The club also announced that veteran coach Richie Hall, who'd held the co-ordinator's job, would remain on the defensive coaching staff in an unspecified position.

"JY has obviously been on this trajectory for quite some time," O'Shea, the Bombers head coach, said during a Zoom call from the CFL meetings in Nashville, Tenn. "You just know there's going to come a time where if you don't make a move, you're going to lose him and I didn't want to get to that point.

"I'd had this conversation with Richie also over the course of time … you're talking about two guys I have long-standing relationships with and value a lot. To be able to have both on our staff was certainly what the aim was but you can't really guarantee that. I'm just so excited Richie agree to stay on."

Hall, 63, has been a CFL player and coach since 1983. He played nine seasons as a defensive back with Calgary (1983-91) and Saskatchewan (1988-91) before he got into coaching in 1994 as the Riders secondary coach. He also served as Edmonton's head coach (2009-10).

Man in a grey hoodie.
Richie Hall will no longer serve as defensive co-ordinator of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, but he will remain with the defensive coaching staff. (CFL.ca)

Hall had been Winnipeg's defensive co-ordinator since 2015.

"I don't know what [Hall's] title will be," O'Shea said. "But his role will be the same as a part of it has been all of the years he's been with us and that's to mentor the entire team.

"There's not a day go by that there isn't one, two, three, four guys who wander in and out of Richie's office to sit down and have a chat, and it's not always about football. To be able to keep that kind of CFL knowledge base around … and then also to have one of the greatest human beings in our league stick around our team is pretty good. JY, I'm sure, will be leaning on him as much as possible."

O'Shea and Younger go back to 2004 as teammates with the Toronto Argonauts. Younger, 45, served as the defensive backs coach at the University of Toronto (2014) before returning to the Argos in the same capacity (2015-16).

He joined the Bombers' staff in 2018. Under Younger, Winnipeg's secondary ranked first last year in passing yardage allowed per game (229.4 yards).

"Jordan is smart, he thinks the game all the time and he's passionate about that. He puts a lot of effort into studying opponents and figuring out how to attack them with the players in our building," O'Shea said.

"He's always trying to put them in a good position to be successful."

The Bombers also named Mike Miller, a native of Riverview, N.B., as special teams co-ordinator after declining to renew the contract of Paul Boudreau. Miller, 34, the CFL's all-time leader in special teams tackles with 226, missed last season due to injury.

"Mike has that quiet approach where you see him talking to guys all the time, trying to help them improve and help his teammates become better special-teamers," O'Shea said. "It's really unfortunate in terms of the playing career [because] you'd really love to see that guy keep playing, we really would, but that's not in the cards.

"I just felt we'd really like to have him stay in the building and help our young guys grow."

Winnipeg Blue Bombers' Mike Miller (24) tackles BC Lions' Terry Williams (87) during the second half of CFL western final action in Winnipeg, Sunday, Nov. 13, 2022.
Winnipeg's Mike Miller tackles B.C.'s Terry Williams during the CFL's West Division final in November 2022. Miller will be taking the reins as the Bombers' special teams co-ordinator in 2024. (John Woods/The Canadian Press)

Winnipeg finished first in the West Division last year at 14-4 but lost to the Montreal Alouettes 28-24 in the Grey Cup game at Hamilton. 

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