The 2024 season will mark the 10th for Kyle Walters overseeing the football operations of the Blue Bombers after officially being named the 17th General Manager in franchise history on November 26, 2013.
Walters will also be entering his 14th year with the organization overall, having previously served as an assistant coach and as assistant general manager. He has helped guide the Blue Bombers to three straight Grey Cup appearances, with championships in 2019 and 2021. He signed a contract extension through the 2023 season on December 13, 2019.
An adept talent evaluator, Walters has combined success at the Canadian Draft with shrewd trades and signings in free agency to turn the Bombers first into a contender and then into a champion. The 2021 championship earned him his third Grey Cup ring, after also winning as a player with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in 1999.
The Bombers enter 2024 having posted seven consecutive double-digit win seasons after going 14-4 in 2023, with that mark preceded by a franchise record setting 15-win campaign in 2022, and with the club going 11-3 in 2021, 11-7 in 2019, 10-8 in 2018, 12-6 in 2017 and 11-7 in 2016. Winnipeg has qualified for the playoffs in each of the last seven seasons, in 2019 ended a 28-year championship drought and with the victory in 2021, captured back-to-back Grey Cups for the first time since 1961-62.
Working in conjunction with Head Coach Mike O’Shea, Assistant GMs Danny McManus and Ted Goveia, Walters has helped make the Bombers a desired option for free agents. The long list of players who opted to sign with the Blue Bombers as free agents over the last few years includes current players Stanley Bryant, Willie Jefferson, Adam Bighill, Nic Demski and Winston Rose along with future hall of famers like Justin Medlock and Andrew Harris before that. As well, under the watch of Walters the team has discovered new talent like Dalton Schoen, Deatrick Nichols, Brandon Alexander and Jackson Jeffcoat.
Walters and his management team have also proven to be adept in making trades to help bolster the lineup, having landed Zach Collaros from the Toronto Argonauts at the deadline in 2019 in one of the biggest deals in CFL history and also securing Sergio Castillo from the B.C. Lions in 2021.
Walters first made the move from the sidelines to the management chair as he began his tenure as Assistant General Manager and Director of Canadian Scouting with the Blue Bombers in 2013.
Concentrating mostly on scouting at the U-Sports level prior to his General Manager appointment – a focus which continues to this day — Walters also assisted in the football operations department by helping manage the team’s salary cap, negotiate contracts and recruit players. He has developed many positive working relationships with coaches and management at the college and professional levels.
Walters joined Winnipeg as an assistant coach after spending four seasons as the head coach of the University of Guelph Gryphons where he posted a 13-18-1 overall record and advanced to the playoffs in three of the four seasons he was at the helm. In 2007, Guelph had one of their best seasons in recent history, finishing 4-4 and hosting not only their first home playoff game since 1986, but also the 100th Yates Cup – their first Yates appearance since winning it in 1996. Walters was also the Special Teams Coordinator from 2007-2009 for Team West in the CIS All-Star game.
The native of St. Thomas, Ontario, previously served as the Gryphons full-time Assistant Coach and Defensive Coordinator from 2004-2005. Before entering the college ranks, Walters spent the 2003 season as the Assistant Special Teams Coach of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
As a player, Walters was drafted in the second round (10th overall) in the 1996 CFL Draft and played safety and halfback with Hamilton, helping them win the 1999 Grey Cup. His 78 special teams tackles ranks fourth all-time in Hamilton Tiger-Cat history and he was named a team captain during his final three seasons.
In college, Walters suited up for the University of Guelph from 1992-1996 and was named team captain during his senior year. He helped them capture the Yates Championship in 1992 and 1996.
Walters earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Guelph in 1997.