Winnipeg Blue Bombers reach settlement with former head coach Kelly

The Canadian Press ~ The News
Send to a friend

Send this article to a friend.

WINNIPEG - The Winnipeg Blue Bombers won't be facing a lawsuit from former head coach Mike Kelly.
After Kelly was fired last month following his controversial rookie CFL season, speculation was he might take legal action against the Bombers over his dismissal.
But Ken Hildahl, the chairman of the Bombers board of directors, confirmed Tuesday the club has reached an agreement with Kelly and their dealings with him are complete.
"The matter has been resolved to our satisfaction and we're going to move forward," Hildahl said.
The agreement, which Hildahl wouldn't discuss, means the club doesn't expect any legal action from Kelly.
"At the end of the day, the matter is closed," Hildahl said.
Kelly had two years left on his contract when he was fired Dec. 17, which turned out to be a very eventful day for the club.
That afternoon, Bombers president and chief executive officer Lyle Bauer announced his resignation after 10 years with the franchise.
At Bauer's press conference, Hildahl said the future of Kelly would be discussed in the coming days. Shortly afterwards, the board learned Kelly had been arrested that morning at his Bridgeport, Pa., home and charged with simple assault and harassment in an alleged domestic dispute with his ex-girlfriend.
His first court appearance is Jan. 14.
The Bombers board met that evening with Hildahl announcing Kelly had been fired but the decision had nothing to do with Kelly's legal troubles.
The Bombers are now in the midst of hiring for three positions: vice-president of football operations, head coach and president/chief executive officer.
Kelly's agent said Tuesday any issues between his client and the Bombers have been settled.
"The matter has been resolved to the mutual satisfaction of both parties," Scott Casterline said from his Dallas, Tex., office.
Kelly, 51, had no comment when contacted by The Canadian Press.
The settlement with Kelly puts an end to one of the most tumultuous times in Bomber history.
The team posted a 7-11 record last season and missed the playoffs but it was Kelly's actions that created the most headlines.
After Bauer hired Kelly in December 2008, the team's former offensive co-ordinator (1992-96) raised eyebrows when he said no one would touch the squad's quarterbacks except him.
Kelly then insulted former player-personnel director Brendan Taman's scouting system, saying Taman must have kept his database written on napkins.
Kelly then traded for unproven third-year quarterback Stefan LeFors and released veteran Kevin Glenn, leaving the team without an experienced player under centre. Glenn went on to join the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and help them finish ahead of the Bombers and secure their first home playoff game since 2001.
Kelly often clashed with media and fans and stopped taking any calls to his weekly radio show.
After swearing and hanging up on the team's radio play-by-play reporter following a November loss to Montreal, Kelly was fined $2,000 by the league. Commissioner Mark Cohon cited Kelly's "confrontational language, demeanour and tone, and continued pattern of disrespectful behaviour towards the media."
The league had also fined Kelly $1,000 in July for derogatory comments he made toward on-field officials in a game against the Toronto Argonauts.

Organizations: Bombers, Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Bombers board Canadian Press Hamilton Tiger-Cats Toronto Argonauts

Geographic location: WINNIPEG, Bridgeport, Pa., Dallas, Tex. Montreal

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page