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Back to back Grey Cups for North Bay's O'Shea

'It was never about back to back, it was about 2021'
20211212 O'Shea wins again
Mike O'Shea celebrates an OT Grey Cup victory for the Blue Bombers. Photo courtesy TSN

North Bay's Mike O'Shea has guided the Winnipeg Blue Bombers to a 33-25 late comeback overtime victory over the Hamilton Tiger Cats in the 108th Grey Cup which took place at Tim Horton's Field in Hamilton Sunday.  

Sunday was only the fourth time ever the Grey Cup was decided in extra time. 

"What a great game for the fans," O'Shea told TSN's James Duthie post-game. 

"Bonus time with overtime, how can you not love it."

See related: Collaros throws overtime TD pass to rally Bombers to Grey Cup victory

For O'Shea, he has led the Bombers to their first consecutive championship run since the 1961-62 seasons.  

However, due to COVID-19, O'Shea does not feel or consider this a back-to-back championship.  

"We never thought of it as a repeat anyway as 2020 was a very tough year on the players as they sacrificed a ton in that year and a lot to come back to get this season going so praises to the players really for allowing this season and getting this season going and the CFL too to get a plan," O'Shea continued post game.  

"It was never about back to back, it was about 2021."  

After leading his team to a Grey Cup in back-to-back years on top of having the league’s best record, Mike O’Shea also added Coach of the Year to his extensive list of achievements in the CFL.

Just one season after coaching Winnipeg to its first Grey Cup since 1990, O’Shea led the Bombers to an 11-3 season and their best winning percentage (.786) since 1961, when the team went 13-3 (.813) under Bud Grant. O’Shea has a .549 winning percentage with Winnipeg, 10th among Bomber coaches all-time.

Despite a shortened season, the Bombers reached double-digit wins for the fifth year in a row under O’Shea, making him just the second coach in franchise history to accomplish the feat after Bud Grant (six consecutive seasons from 1957 to 1962).

O’Shea is 67-55 in seven seasons with Winnipeg. He leads active head coaches in career wins (67) and is tied with Rick Campbell among active head coaches in games (122). He remains second in franchise history with 67 wins, behind only Bud Grant (102).

Over the last 5 years, Winnipeg leads the CFL with a plus-81 turnover differential, including a CFL-best plus-18 in 2021.

O’Shea received 47 first-place votes.

Toronto Argonauts’ head coach Ryan Dinwiddie was named the runner-up after the success he found in his first year with the Double Blue.