The Ottawa Redblacks have seen a their fair share of turnover on their coaching staff over the offseason. From the head coaching position on down this staff has been rebuilt in Bob Dyce’s image. Tapping many experienced and respected coaches to complete his 2023 staff.
What I love about this staff is most of these coaches have previous experience working with each other which should make for a cohesive staff overall. I am encouraged by the offseason moves so far, and the staff is complete and ready to rock for 2023. Where did these guys come from, and how did they end up in Ottawa?
Bob Dyce, Head Coach
Bob Dyce has an extensive background in Canadian Football. Getting his start in the Canadian Junior Football League, before moving on to coach U-Sports, and finally making the leap to the CFL in 2003, a decade after beginning his coaching career. Since then he has coached both offense and special teams with multiple teams, building a reputation along the way. Dyce is also not a rookie head coach having served in the post for one year with Saskatchewan.
Khari Jones, Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Coordinator
Former Montreal Alouettes head coach Khari Jones, has been brought in as Dyce’s right hand man. Ironically this relationship began near the beginning of Jones’s 11 year playing career. In 2003 and into 2004 they were together in Winnipeg.
In 2012 Dyce revisited this relationship bringing Jones in as his quarterbacks coach after Hamilton let him go. He would spend two seasons working with Dyce and the Roughriders, before another team came looking for an offensive coordinator. BC hired Jones and since then he and Dyce have been opponents until the 2023 season.
While it isn’t listed in his titles, Jones is overseeing the quarterbacks as well. Hiring a former head coach as your right hand man is a smart move, especially when you know that man, isn’t out to take your job long term, and can serve multiple roles like Jones is.
Barron Miles, Defensive Coordinator
Miles is yet another familiar face for both Jones, and Dyce. Miles a long-time defensive back in the NFL, NFLEL, and later the CFL, immediately stepped into coaching after his playing career ended in in 2010 when he stayed with BC but transitioned from player to coach after a long career.
Miles after two seasons with BC headed to Saskatchewan and worked with the defensive backs for the next three seasons. This led him to overlap with Dyce and Jones in Saskatchewan. In 2020 Jones was promoted to head coach, and of course promoted Miles to defensive coordinator as well after one season as the DB Coach and defensive passing game coordinator.
Cory McDiarmid, Special Teams Coordinator
McDiarmid was Bob Dyce’s personal choice for the special teams coordinator role after taking over the interim head coaching job. He knew it was in his best interests to delegate those duties and keep his focus on running the team. This turned into a full-time position as soon as Dyce dropped the interim tag.
A veteran of four grey cups, with two victories, McDiarmid is yet another well qualified and experienced coach that has previous experience with Dyce. They crossed paths in Winnipeg when Dyce was coaching WR’s and Diarmid was coaching special teams and running backs. In 2013 they again worked together with McDiarmid the assistant to Dyce.
McDiarmid left for two seasons returning to Winnipeg but as soon as he was let go Dyce and Saskatchewan gladly brought him back for the end of the 2015 season. Since then he spent 3 seasons in Edmonton, and one in Toronto (also spent 2020 with them). In 2021 he was away from the game before heading to the Wroclaw Panthers of the ELF, where he coached alongside Jeff Jagodzinski, current OL Coach for the Philadelphia Stars of the USFL. After the ELF season ended, McDiarmid was looking for his next opportunity when Dyce offered to run it back one more time.
Travis Moore, Wide Receivers Coach/Passing Game Coordinator
Travis Moore is a former XFL and CFL receiver who played ten seasons from 1996-2005, winning two Grey Cup Championships at the height of his career. Just a few years removed from his playing career he returned to the CFL as a coach with Hamilton overseeing running backs. He would spend only one year in this role moving on to coach WR’s for BC from 2010 to 2012, and Edmonton in 2013.
He would land in Ottawa for his first stint in 2014, and spend the next four seasons there until moving on in 2018. In 2018 he joined Saskatchewan again coaching pass catchers, and now just five years later he returns to Ottawa with a promotion in hand. From 2016-2018 he coached with Bob Dyce, and now he returns to his side in 2023.
Paul Charbonneau, Offensive Line Coach
Charbonneau’s offensive line was one of the few bright spots in 2022, so of course he returns in 2023. His unit ended up giving up the third fewest sacks in the league despite a league leading number of plays. This year he has another young lineman to work on developing that could prove to be a very valuable asset down the line either late this season or early next.
His work with this group has been admirable to say the least. If the offensive line can repeat this performance next season, and Masoli stays healthy this could be a dangerous offense.
Nate Taylor, Running Backs Coach
Taylor is still very young, having gotten into coaching only one season removed from his U Sports career. Returning to his alma mater of Concordia Taylor originally began coaching the position group he once played, defensive back. He also was named recruiting coordinator titles he held until his departure in 2016.
Spending the next six years with University of Ottawa. He would continue his work with recruiting and defensive backs while adding special teams coordinator duties to his resume. Eventually he moved to the offensive side of the ball and coached wide receivers. This kept him close to the Redblacks, which allowed him to gain access last season as an intern last season just for training camp. He returned to U Sports for the season, but Bob Dyce decided to bring him in to coach running backs for the 2023 season. He will be working closely with Khari Jones, and Nadia Doucoure on game planning as well according to an interview with Doucoure.
Nadia Doucoure, Offensive Quality Control
Nadia Doucoure’s story is amazing. Much like most female coaches, she has heard more no’s than yes’s along her career, and pursuit of being involved in football as a full-time career, but now she receives her first opportunity to coach in the CFL full-time.
What started as a guest appearance with the staff for 2022 training camp turned into serving as a scout last season for Ottawa. This allowed her to get her feet wet, and proceed to learn how Ottawa likes to do things. Bob Dyce and company believed she would be a larger asset helping with the game planning and preparation of the offense this season. This comes after she spent 2021 with Carleton before making the leap to the CFL. I’m excited to see how her role grows with the Redblacks going forward.
Mike Phair, Defensive Line Coach/Run Game Coordinator
Mike Phair is a longtime NCAA and NFL coach spending ten seasons in the NFL split between Seattle, Chicago, Tampa Bay, Indianapolis, and Carolina. He most recently was with the Panthers in 2020. He spent a season away in 2021 but returned to coaching with Ottawa in 2022.
If you want any indication at how good Phair is at his job, consider that Lorenzo Mauldin IV went into 2022 with 4 sacks in 17 games. He finished 2022 with 17 in 18 games. A dominant run for a plus athlete finally being used to the best of his abilities. Phair also spent six seasons as an NFL scout, a fact that should prove useful for the smaller staffs in the CFL.
Patrick Bourgon, Linebacker coach
Bourgon is a young coach but he does not lack experience at this level. He started coaching with Champlain College in 2012 where he stayed for two seasons. He caught Ottawa’s eye, and joined the staff for the first time in September of 2013 as a football operations intern. He returned in 2014 as an football operations assistant, a full-time title for the 2014 season. In 2015 he returned to France as a defensive coordinator/defensive backs coach gaining valuable experience. Staying from December to July before returning to Ottawa.
This time he would hold many titles over the next 7 years including defensive assistant, offensive assistant, assistant DB Coach, special teams coach, and defensive backs before landing at linebacker. He has also served as a mentor for Nadia Doucoure.
Jykine Bradley, Defensive Backs Coach
Bradley will likely work hand in hand with Barron Miles to coach up this secondary. Bradley is another former player turned coach overseeing his old position of defensive back. Having spent eight seasons playing professional football, including seven in the CFL, he is well versed in the technique needed to play in this league. I’m always a firm believer that it’s easier to coach a position having played it and his career certainly warrants respect from his players.
Originally Bradley coached wide receivers for Waterloo from 2017-2019, one of his players, Tyler Ternowski is currently with Hamilton, drafted in round 3 during the 2020 season. Bradley would coach for the same team on once again in 2022 when the Ti-Cats brought him in to oversee DB’s. He spent just one season there before landing with Ottawa for 2023.
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