I admit I don’t read the Winnipeg Free Press daily but I’m still surprised I hadn’t heard about these stories until yesterday morning. Thanks to Dan Crabbe for tipping me off. I had heard about two other candidates for the Director of Athletics position that comes open when Tom Kendall retires in December.
* * *
Bombers GM pegged to be school’s next athletic director… if he wants the job
By Gary Lawless
MONTREAL — The University of Guelph wants Kyle Walters. The question is, does the Winnipeg Blue Bombers GM want the Gryphons.
The Gryphons football team is coached by the wealthy and influential Stu Lang. Lang has donated more than $21 million to CIS and high school programs. He has given money to his alma mater, Queen’s University, and Guelph, where he has been on the coaching staff since 2009.
The former Edmonton Eskimos receiver and businessman has reportedly targeted Walters to replace Guelph athletic director Tom Kendall.
Walters has been approached by boosters at Guelph to take over for the 69-year-old Kendall, who is set to retire in December.
“Kyle has been approached by some of our alumni to gauge his interest in the position,” said a Guelph alumnus, who requested anonymity.
Walters played and coached at the University of Guelph and was head coach of the football team from 2006 through 2009.
“Kyle has no comment,” said Bombers director of communications Darren Cameron via text, when asked if Walters could be made available to discuss this development.
Walters has two years remaining on his contract following this season, but speaking to a well-regarded CFL agent, it is believed there would be an opening in his pact to allow him to leave for such a position.
The Bombers’ job would pay more per year, but the security of an AD position at a CIS school and the perks associated with being a university employee are attractive.
Lang was reached via email Sunday, but deflected comment to Kendall.
“I have no comment at the present time. My staff and I are preparing for a tough game against Ottawa,” wrote Lang.
Kendall was even more economic with his email response to a query about the future of the university’s athletic leadership.
“I have no comment,” wrote Kendall.
Lots of no comments but no denials. Walters was in Guelph this week for the Gryphons’ homecoming game and to scout for the Bombers.
His Bombers salary is north of $200,000. Most CIS athletic directors earn in the area of $125,000.
But an AD job is a job for life. Walters would have security and be able to keep his hand in football.
Walters is a native of St. Thomas, Ont., a 90-minute drive from Guelph.
firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @garylawless
And the followup story the next day.
With rumours swirling that Blue Bombers general manager Kyle Walters could be leaving town for a new job, Walters issued a statement this morning to show in fact he’s just fine where he is.
As Winnipeg Free Press reporter Gary Lawless first reported Sunday, some influential alumnus of the University of Guelph want Walters to be the school’s next athletic director, replacing 69-year-old Tom Kendall who is set to retire in December.
“In response to the published speculation regarding my future as General Manager of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, I feel it is necessary to state that I am dedicated whole heartedly to the Winnipeg Football Club, and am under contract beyond this season,” Walters said in a release from the team. “Being the General Manager of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers is one of the greatest roles in Canadian sport, and I am extremely committed to continuing to guide our franchise in the right direction.”
Walters, who has played and coached with Guelph and was head coach from 2006 through 2009, also said he’s “had no contact whatsoever with the University of Guelph” and has “no intentions of leaving” his position with the Winnipeg Football Club.
The Bombers are 4-8 this season and the chances of a playoff berth look slim. Walters still has two more years after this season remaining on his contract with the Bombers.