Jim Daley has received the green light to cut loose.
In January, Daley had to turn down an offer to return as the Toronto Argonauts’ special-teams co-ordinator for personal and health reasons. Two months later, Daley has received a clean bill of health following some heart trouble and although he still doesn’t have a coaching position for 2015, he’s anxious to return to the sidelines.
“If the players I coached in Hamilton and Toronto thought I was wired before, they haven’t see the new me yet,” Daley said with a chuckle recently in a telephone interview from his off-season home in Calgary. “I am raring to go.”
The 63-year-old Ottawa native, who served as Hamilton’s special-teams co-ordinator in 2012, said Toronto head coach Scott Milanovich’s offer came at a time when he was having issues with his heart. Although Daley wanted to return, he couldn’t make the commitment in January and understands Milanovich ultimately hiring Scott Downing as the club’s special-teams coach.
“When I got the offer from Scott to return, I was unable to make a commitment for personal and health reasons,” Daley said. “Those reasons have now been addressed but the timing wasn’t good because now everybody has filled their jobs.
“But I had to take care of those issues first. I loved it in Toronto but I wasn’t going to be unfair to them. I am high energy and full motor … I want to be able to do that job with the intensity I feel it needs. I want to do it that way.”
Daley has spent 38 years coaching football and has spent time as a head coach, defensive and offensive co-ordinator as well as special-teams co-ordinator in both the Canadian university and pro ranks. The former Ottawa Gee Gees head coach has worked in the CFL since ’91 as a coach as well as the league’s senior adviser of football operations and officiating.
Daley served as CFL head coach with Winnipeg (2004-05) and Saskatchewan (96-98), guiding the Riders to the ’97 Grey Cup game. Daley earned a championship ring in ’01 as a member of Calgary’s coaching staff.
As Daley waits for the phone to ring, he’s revamping his special-teams playbook.
“I’m going to coach for many more years,” he said. “I’ve coached on all three sides of the ball so if a (CFL) job opened that I was a fit for, I’d be very interested in it.
“Sometimes CIS coaches bring guys in just for the season so that might even be of interest … whether it’s this year or next, I am coaching.”
And that’s in large part, Daley said, because of his two previous stints with Hamilton (2012) and Toronto (last year).
“My last two years of coaching in Hamilton and Toronto have rejuvenated me as a coach,” Daley said. “When you work with guys like (returner) Chris Williams and (linebacker) Marc Beswick in Hamilton and (returner) Chad Owens, (linebacker) James Yurichuk and (kicker-punter) Swayze Waters in Toronto, I really, really loved it.
“In both situations we had the (special-teams) player of the year in Chris Williams (2012) and Swayze Waters (2014). I’m like a 30-year-old again.”