Bombers Add Hall; Als Promote From Within

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers today are pleased to announce the appointment of long-time CFL coach Richie Hall as the club’s Defensive Coordinator.

Hall comes to Winnipeg after holding the same position with the Saskatchewan Roughriders for the past four seasons. He has more than twenty years of CFL coaching experience, including 12 as a Defensive Coordinator, and two as a Head Coach.

“Richie Hall has been around our game for almost three decades,” said Head Coach Mike O’Shea. “He knows the league, he understands opposition offences, and how to adjust when needed. He’s highly respected, and brings another winning element to our organization. Acquiring him to lead our defence is major coup for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.”

A three-time Grey Cup Champion (two as a Defensive Coordinator), Hall has a reputation of fielding one of the league’s top defences season after season. He coached the league’s number one ranked defence in 2013, posting a league low 398 points allowed, while leading the league with 24 interceptions, and the lowest touchdowns allowed total with 36. All of this culminated in the Riders winning the 101st Grey Cup in dominating fashion.

“This is an amazing opportunity for me as a coach and as a person,” said Hall. “For years, I have been in this league and watched from afar the passion the city and province have for the Blue Bombers. They really deserve to have a winning football team and all of us on the defensive side of the ball will do everything we can to make that happen.”

Before his extensive coaching career began, Hall spent nine years as a defensive back in the CFL with Calgary and Saskatchewan. While with the Riders, he was a key member in the club winning the 1989 Grey Cup. He was also named a division all-star four times.

Meanwhile in Montreal;

The Montreal Alouettes announced on Tuesday that the club has named Turk Schonert it’s offensive coordinator for the 2015 season.

Schonert joined the Alouettes coaching staff as a consultant in July 2014, before being named the team’s receiver coach a few weeks later.

Under his tutelage, receivers Duron Carter and S.J. Green finished the season on strong notes. Carter was named to the CFL’s All-Star Team as he completed the season with 1,030 receiving yards on 75 catches, all while scoring seven touchdowns. For his part, Green caught 53 passes good for 835 yards. In the Eastern Final, he scored three touchdowns all while racking up 126 receiving yards. Schonert was also implicated with the offensive game planning.

“Turk played an important role in last season’s turnaround and we are thrilled to have him back with us as this will allow us to have some consistency on offence,” said Alouettes head coach Tom Higgins. “He has experience and is well liked by the players. We now have all the pieces of the puzzle in place and look forward to getting ready for what should be a promising season.”

After playing for nine seasons in the NFL as a quarterback for the Cincinnati Bengals and Atlanta Falcons from 1981 to 1989, Schonert joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a quarterbacks’ coach in 1992. He later joined the Buffalo Bills, the Carolina Panthers, the New York Giants and the New Orleans Saints before returning to the Bills in 2006 in the same position. Under his tutelage in Buffalo, quarterback Trent Edwards was  the most productive rookie passer in the NFL in 2007. He was promoted to the team’s offensive coordinator in 2008.

“I am excited to rejoin the Alouettes organization. I look forward to working with Tom Higgins again, as well as his staff and the players,” said Schonert. “We will be comited to building on what we did as a team last season, as our quest to bring a championship back to Montreal fuels us.”

Schonert, who was named the head coach of the Sacramento Mountain Lions in the United Football League in 2012, has over 15 years of coaching experience at the professional level.