Bombers fire LaPolice; Burke takes over
Winnipeg, MB (Sports Network) - The Winnipeg Blue Bombers have fired head coach Paul LaPolice and replaced him with defensive coordinator Tim Burke.
Coming off a trip to the Grey Cup last year, the Bombers are off to a dismal 2-6 start this season. They are 0-4 on the road and dropped a 20-17 home decision to British Columbia on Friday in a rematch of last year's CFL championship game.
"This was an extremely difficult decision to make, especially when dealing with such a quality individual as Paul is," said Blue Bombers general manager Joe Mack in a statement on Saturday. "As the season has progressed, and looking back on how we struggled throughout the second half of the year in 2011, we have become increasingly concerned with the direction of our club and felt this was in the best interest of our entire organization. Our commitment to winning hasn't changed and this decision was made in order to get our team back on track."
Despite last year's Grey Cup appearance, the Bombers finished the 2011 regular season just 3-7 after a 7-1 start. They won the East Division and posted a 19-3 victory over Hamilton to advance to the Grey Cup, where BC notched a 34-23 triumph to claim the title.
LaPolice was rewarded with a two-year contract extension in March after turning the Bombers around from 4-14 in his first season to 10-8 last year.
Before joining the Bombers, LaPolice spent three seasons with Saskatchewan, including 2008 and 2009 as the club's offensive coordinator. He'd also been offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach with the Bombers from 2002-03.