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CFL coach Milanovich reunites briefly with former assistant coaches O’Shea, Steinauer

Scott Milanovich, Mike O’Shea and Orlondo Steinauer opened the Grey Cup Unite coaches availability Wednesday.

It was virtually and for roughly 35 minutes, but the gang was back together again.

The CFL is staging many of its annual championship week events virtually after cancelling its plans for an abbreviated 2020 season in August because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

READ MORE: Edmonton Football Team plotting new plan for fall after CFL season cancellation

Milanovich, O’Shea and Steinauer are now head coaches with Edmonton, Winnipeg and Hamilton, respectively. But they’ll forever be attached at the hip for their association with the ’12 Toronto Argonauts.

That was Milanovich’s first CFL head-coaching job and both O’Shea (special-teams co-ordinator) and Steinauer (defensive backs) were on his staff. Milanovich retained O’Shea — who began his coaching career in 2010 under Jim Barker — but gave Steinauer his first CFL coaching job after a lengthy interview.

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“I knew more about Osh (O’Shea) because he’d been Jim’s special-teams co-ordinator and they’d had great success so Osh was an easy one,” Milanovich said. “I gave (then defensive co-ordinator) Chris Jones a lot of latitude with the defensive staff hirings and we sat in there with O (Steinauer) for a long time and he was so patient.

“It was really all about character, not even Xs and Os, and finally O was, ‘Guys, all I can tell you is I’m a good guy, you can trust me and this is going to work.’ Two of my favourite guys in the business. They’re great coaches… I had no doubt they’d go on to be highly successful.”

The trio was able to grow — and win — together. Toronto (9-9) finished second in the East Division standings but went on to capture the 100th Grey Cup with a 35-22 victory over the Calgary Stampeders before over 50,000 spectators at Rogers Centre, securing Milanovich coach-of-the-year honours.

O’Shea, 50, of North Bay, Ont., left Toronto to become Winnipeg’s head coach in 2014.He guided the Bombers to a Grey Cup title in 2019, their first since 1990.

READ MORE: Winnipeg…

Dan Ralph

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