- Free Agency
WINNIPEG — Head Coach Mike O’Shea announced Thursday additions to his defensive coaching staff, led by the appointment of Defensive Coordinator Gary Etcheverry.
Nelson Martin will also join the staff as the Defensive Backs Coach, while Mike Scheper will take on the role as Defensive Line Coach.
Etcheverry comes to the Blue Bombers with over three decades of coaching experience, including over 10 years in the CFL. He last coached in the CFL with the Saskatchewan Roughriders, leading their defence to back-to-back Grey Cup appearances in 2009 and 2010.
In 2010, his team held the league leader in both defensive tackles and interceptions. Previous to coaching in Saskatchewan, Etcheverry was the defensive coordinator of the 2004 Ottawa Renegades. In 2002, he spent the year as the head coach and vice-president of football operations for the Toronto Argonauts.
In 2001, he was the defensive coordinator for the B.C. Lions and held the same position with the Roughriders in 2000. Etcheverry joined the CFL in 1997 as a defensive line coach with the Toronto Argonauts, spending two seasons in that role, before being promoted to the defensive coordinator position in 1999. Prior to joining the CFL, Etcheverry spent two decades as a coach in the United States.
During that time, he coached in the college ranks, including stints at San Francisco State, Occidental College, the Universities of Redlands and San Diego and Macalster College, where he served as head coach. Etcheverry also held coaching positions in Germany – Hamburg in 1994 and Stuttgart in 1996, and in the NFL, where he served as a special assistant on the Los Angeles Rams staff in 1988.
Martin joins the staff after spending the 2012 season coaching in Hamilton as their defensive backs coach, and prior to that, coached the defensive backs in Saskatchewan for two seasons (2009-2010).
Under Martin’s guidance, Riders safety James Patrick was named a West Division and CFL All-Star after leading the league with nine interceptions in 2009. In 2007, he coached defensive backs at the University of Toronto, and made his CFL coaching debut with the Ottawa Renegades in 2003 as a special teams assistant, a position he would hold for two seasons.
As a player, he enjoyed a seven-year CFL career with the B.C. Lions after they selected him with the fifth overall pick in the 1981 Canadian Draft. Martin was the Lions starting safety for five of his seven seasons and retired after being named the West Division Most Outstanding Canadian in 1987. During his career, he helped B.C. make the West Final six times and the Grey Cup final twice, winning a championship in 1985.
Scheper comes aboard after coaching the defensive line at Portland State University for the past two seasons. He coached the Saskatchewan Riders defensive line in 2009 and 2010, where both of his defensive ends were atop the league leaders in sacks (John Chick and Stevie Baggs).
Chick was also named CFL Defensive Player of the Year. Scheper has previous coaching experience in the United States at the Division 1-A college, junior college and high school levels. Prior to his time in the CFL, he coached the offensive line at Fresno State University. Before that, he worked at Glendale Community College where he coached running backs.
He also spent one season at College of the Canyons, coaching cornerbacks. Scheper began his coaching career at his alma mater St. Francis High School in the Los Angeles area.