Lions' Wally not going anywhere

HOSEA CHEUNG, QMI AGENCY

, Last Updated: 3:10 PM ET

Wally Buono will be back on the sidelines next season.

The B.C. Lions announced Tuesday that the general manager and coach will retain both his roles with the team after questions surrounding his job arose during the latter half of the 2010 campaign.

The decision was Buono’s to make following a season where the Lions overcame a horrendous start to finish 8-10 and sneak into the playoffs before succumbing to Saskatchewan in the West semi-finals.

“Never once did I feel that I had to make that decision based on any kind of pressure,” said the winningest coach in CFL history. “This was a process that was agreed upon in going forward when I extended [my contract] so that we would always put the organization ahead of any individual.”

In eight seasons with the team, the 60-year-old Montreal native has led B.C. to eight straight playoff appearances and one Grey Cup win in 2006.

Earlier this year, he signed a contract extension with the

organization to the end of the 2013 season.

“I can coach forever,” Buono said. “That’s not the issue, I don’t want to just coach. I want to be successful. There comes a time and a place where you need to step aside and you need to give other people the opportunity to do what you do.”

That time, however, will have to wait as Buono now turns his attention to next season, one where Vancouver hosts the 99th Grey Cup.

As for his coaching staff, Buono’s not certain yet who he’ll bring back, adding that he has begun talks with them.

“I want to make sure they understand the expectations and their requirements,” he said. “I’m not evaluating them. What I’m doing is discussing the next step of going forward.”


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