August 5, 2020

Top 10 Exclusive : Coaches’ Winning Records

The Winnipeg Football Club has 90 years of history to celebrate, dating way back to the days of leather helmets and the Great Depression.

Over that time there have been countless great plays authored by superstar players… and average Joes, too. There have been memorable games featuring iconic moments and, dating back to 1930, this franchise has captured a Grey Cup championship 11 times.

Each week cracks open the record book, dusts off the archives and dives deep into our collective memory banks for our Top 10 Exclusive.

This week: Top 10 Coaches’ Winning Records

They are Grey Cup champions and hall of famers. They are master motivators, innovators and both icons and legends in this town. Here is a look at the Top 10 coaches in the 90 years of the Winnipeg Football Club, as ranked by regular season wins:

  1. Bud Grant, 1957-66: 102 – There’s a statue of him at the front of IG Field and he was one of the first to be added to the Ring of Honour for a reason – the man’s fingerprints were all over the franchise’s Glory years with 102 regular season victories and four Grey Cup wins during his days on the sidelines before he left for the Minnesota Vikings.
    His overall regular-season record was 102-56-2, for a .644 winning percentage.
  2. Cal Murphy, 1983-86, 1993-96: 86 – Murphy also has a statue at IG Field as he was one of the architects, both as a head coach and GM, of the Bombers successes in the 1980s through to the mid-1990s. He was the man on the sidelines when the Bombers broke a long Grey Cup drought with a win in 1984 and was the GM of the ’88 and ’90 championship teams.
    Overall: 86-51-1, for a .627 winning percentage.
  3. Mike O’Shea, 2014- : 56 – The current boss was a key figure in the current rebuild, culminating in last November’s Grey Cup victory that ended the longest championship drought in franchise history. He’s been on the sidelines for six years now and the club is 44-28 in the past four.
    Overall: 56-52, for a .519 winning percentage.
  4. Dave Ritchie, 1999-2004: 52 – The Bombers were awful when Ritchie took over in 1999 and by 2001 he had helped build the team into a CFL powerhouse. A 14-4 team couldn’t finish in ’01 and the team had other November disappointments in the years that followed, but Ritchie sure made it entertaining along the way.
    Overall: 52-44-1, for a .542 winning percentage.
  5. Ray Jauch, 1978-82: 45 – Jauch was at the helm of some excellent teams during his days… it just so happened his Bomber teams operated at the same time of the Edmonton dynasty that won five straight Grey Cups at the same time.
    Overall: 45-35, for a .563 winning percentage.
  6. Mike Riley, 1987-90: 40 – His players loved him, and he was part of two Grey Cup championship teams in his four years at the controls, winning in 1988 and 1990 before he left for the San Antonio Riders of the World League of American Football.
    Overall: 40-32, for a .556 winning percentage.
  7. Bud Riley, 1974-77: 34 – Before Mike Riley came along, there was his dad, who ran the show in the mid 1970s. Bud was fired when the club couldn’t win in the playoffs, but later served with Saskatchewan, Hamilton, Edmonton and Calgary as both a coach and in player personnel.
    Overall: 34-38-2, for a .547 winning percentage.
  8. Reg Threlfall, 1938-41: 28 – He was the head coach of two Grey Cup champions, in 1939 and 1941, and tops the club’s all-time coaching list in winning percentage, at .778. Nicknamed ‘The Demon Coacher.’
    Overall: 28-8, for a .778 winning percentage.
  9. George Trafton, 1951-53: 28 – He played for the legendary Knute Rockne at Notre Dame and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1964. He worked as a coach with the Green Bay Packers and Cleveland/L.A. Rams before becoming the Bombers head coach in 1951. The Bombers lost in the 1953 Grey Cup and two weeks later Trafton was fired. A month later, he retired from coaching.
    Overall: 28-17-1, for a .620 winning percentage.
  10. Doug Berry, 2006-08: 27 – The Bombers made the playoffs in each of Berry’s three seasons, but after a 2008 season in which the club finished 8-10 and lost to Edmonton at home in the first round of the playoffs, he was replaced by Mike Kelly.
    Overall: 27-26-1, for a .509 winning percentage.