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Dave Ritchie names guest coaches

May 17, 2004 - Canadian Football League (CFL) Winnipeg Blue Bombers

WINNIPEG, MB – Winnipeg Blue Bombers head coach Dave Ritchie today named the eight assistants that will form his guest-coaching crew for the 2004 Blue Bombers Training Camp.

This year’s guest coaches are Nick Benjamin, John Chura, Marvin Coleman, Jeff Cummins, Doug Hocking, Scott Norris, Dan Talbot and Richard Urbanovich. As well, Ritchie named Benjamin and Frank Robinson as game-day coaches. Here’s a quick look at this year’s guest coaches:

NICK BENJAMIN

Nick Benjamin played five years for the Blue Bombers from 1989-1993. He was a guest coach with the club at its 2000, 2001 & 2002 training camps, working with the offensive linemen. He was a venerable CFL veteran who played for the club’s 1990 Grey Cup Championship team. He also participated in the 1992 & 1993 Grey Cup games. He was the East Division’s Most Outstanding Rookie in 1985 as a member of the Ottawa Rough Riders.

JOHN CHURA

John Chura is a coaching veteran who has worked in the CFL with several members of the present Blue Bombers staff. Originally from Purdue University, Chura coached with Dave Ritchie and Jim Daley in 1992 with the Ottawa Rough Riders. He was part of Coach Ritchie’s staff with Mike Gorton for the British Columbia Lions. Defensive backs coach Less Browne played in Ottawa and B.C. during the time Chura coached in those cities. He later coached with the Las Vegas Posse under Ron Meyer. He has spent the past few seasons as a high-school head coach in Las Vegas.

MARVIN COLEMAN

One of the greatest players to ever play in the CFL, Marvin Coleman is now taking his first shot at coaching. Coleman – who played for the Blue Bombers from 2001-2003 – is a CFL record holder, three-time CFL All-Star and an eight-time divisional all-star. He also made the CFLPA All-Star Team three times.

JEFF CUMMINS

CFL & NFL veteran player Jeff Cummins makes his first Blue Bombers guest coaching appearance. The head coach at Acadia University played a total of six seasons in the CFL with Las Vegas, Toronto, Ottawa and Hamilton. He played one year in the NFL with the New York Jets. Following his retirement after the 2000 CFL season, Cummins joined the Acadia staff in 2001 as defensive coordinator. He became the interim head coach of the Axemen in July 2003 and recently signed a three-year deal as head coach.

DOUG HOCKING

No stranger to Blue Bombers fans, Doug Hocking makes his second coaching appearance at a Winnipeg training camp. Known for making big contributions on defence and on special teams as a player, he retired from the CFL Feb. 4, 2003 after playing 12 years in the league – eight of which were with the Big Blue.

Last year Hocking was the defensive coordinator for the Winnipeg Rifles of the Canadian Junior Football League.

SCOTT NORRIS

One of the brightest football minds in the province is back to lend his knowledge and experience to the Blue Bombers at this year’s training camp. Scott Norris is the head coach of Football Manitoba’s Provincial Team Program. He was a guest coach with the club in 2003. Norris guided Team Manitoba to a silver medal finish at two Football Canada Cups – the 19-and-under national tackle football championship that features the best high school, midget and major players from across Canada.

Along with his duties as head coach, Norris coaches the defensive line and special teams for the provincial team. A certified NCCP Level III Coach with 16 years experience, Norris boasts a résumé that includes tours with the St. Vital Mustangs, Fort Garry Lions, Oak Park Raiders and Winnipeg Hawkeyes. Norris was a coach for Team Canada’s entry in the Global Junior Championship – an international football tournament and official Super Bowl event.

DAN TALBOT

Dan Talbot is also back for his second Blue Bombers guest coaching stint. Though he is only 31-years-old, Talbot has a fantastic coaching pedigree. He was the tight ends coach for Colorado’s Western State College in 1996. He then ventured forth to Midwestern State University in Falls, Texas for two years. He was the offensive line coach there in 1997 and the runningbacks coach in 1998.

During that 1998 season, Talbot was an offensive coaching intern with the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys. He then moved onto to Desoto High School in Arcadia, Florida for four years. He was the defensive coordinator for the school in 1999 and was the team’s head coach and the school’s athletic director for three years.

For those three years (2000-2002) Talbot also had the honor of being the head coach of one of the two competing teams in the Florida South-Central All-Star Classic for graduating high-school all-stars. He is presently the defensive line coach at perennial Florida prep school powerhouse Lakeland High School.

RICHARD URBANOVICH

Richard Urbanovich is very talented local coach who is well-known in the Manitoba football community. Urbanovich has spent 15 years coaching with the powerful University of Manitoba Bisons football program. He has been one of the key members of Brian Dobie’s staff, working most recently with the defensive backs.

GAME-DAY COACH

FRANK ROBINSON

The Blue Bombers will have another coach helping them throughout the season who cannot attend the training camp, that being former Bomber Frank Robinson.

Robinson was a linebacker for the Big Blue in 1984 & 1985. He was both a defensive and special teams standout during his tenure with the Blue Bombers. The Tulane Green Wave alumnus played three years for the Saskatchewan Roughriders before joining Winnipeg. Robinson was an active community member for the Bombers and a member of their 1984 Grey Cup Championship side.

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