Mike O’Shea enters his 10th season as Head Coach of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in 2024 after helping lead the team to a 14-4 record and a fourth consecutive berth in the Grey Cup in 2023.
A two-time recipient of the Annis Stukus Trophy as the CFL’s top coach in 2021 and 2022, O’Shea now ranks second in career wins in Blue Bombers franchise history with 96, behind only the iconic Bud Grant (102).
He is currently the CFL’s longest-serving head coach after being hired to the position on December 4th, 2013 and on December 8th, 2022 signed a three-year extension to remain with the club.
The Blue Bombers are 96-62 under O’Shea since 2014 with two Grey Cup victories in 2019 and 21, four straight appearances in the championship game and seven consecutive double-digit win seasons – establishing a new franchise-best. Over the last three years the club is 40-10, including the 14-4 mark last season, a franchise record 15-win season in 2022 and an 11-3 record in 2021, also the league’s best.
The Blue Bombers are continually one of the CFL’s most-disciplined teams and were the least-penalized team in 2023 for a sixth consecutive season. The defence ranked first in fewest points allowed, while the offence was the CFL’s most prolific in 2023.
Dating back to 2021, the thrilling 33-25 overtime victory over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the 2021 Grey Cup made the Blue Bombers the first CFL team to repeat as champions in a decade, and the first in Winnipeg since 1961-62. The Blue Bombers 2019 championship ended a drought that had covered 28 seasons dating back to 1990.
O’Shea’s role in the franchise’s rebirth since his arrival has been significant. Preaching discipline and a team-first approach, he has built a culture in which his coaching staff is empowered while his players are eager to play for him.
O’Shea took the Blue Bombers reins after spending four seasons as the Special Teams Coordinator with the Toronto Argonauts, winning a Grey Cup in 2012. He was a three-time Grey Cup champion as a player during his 16-year CFL career, 12 with the Argonauts and four with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. He was part of three Grey Cup championship teams (all with Toronto) in 1996, 1997 and 2004, and in 2017, was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame.
O’Shea played in 271 regular season CFL games, 18 playoff contests and three Grey Cups. The native of North Bay, Ontario, was a five-time Division All-Star (1994, 1995, 1997, 1999, 2000) and was named a CFL All-Star and the league’s Most Outstanding Canadian in 1999. His first league-wide award came in 1993 when he was named the CFL’s Most Outstanding Rookie Player.
In 2006, O’Shea became the first Canadian ever to make at least 1,000 tackles in a career, and in 2007 he was named an All-Time Argo at linebacker.
An advocate for his teammates, O’Shea was a CFLPA player representative for many years and upon leaving the game, he accepted the position of First Vice President for the Players’ Association.
Mike is an alumnus of the University of Guelph and is a member of the Guelph Gryphons Sports Hall of Fame. Mike and his wife Richere have three children: Michael, Ailish and Aisling.