Coach Junkin sent packin'

DAN TOTH -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 9:09 AM ET

The Calgary Stampeders will not renew the contract of special teams co-ordinator Trey Junkin for 2005. Junkin was a long-snapper in the NFL for nearly two decades but came under criticism during the 2004 CFL season, his first as a coach, for the club's shoddy play on special teams.

The Stamps were often burned by long kickoff and punt returns while Junkin was reportedly involved in a heated argument with a player during a team meeting.

"It was an organizational decision," said Stampeders president Ron Rooke. "Trey brought a lot to the table but his schemes were different. Nineteen years in the NFL affected his thought process and that was evidenced in some of the big returns we gave up."

Junkin's hiring last off-season stemmed from his long friendship with Stampeders GM-head coach Matt Dunigan, dating back to their playing days at Louisiana Tech in the early 1980s.

"It was a very difficult decision," said Dunigan, who was unwilling to discuss the role Rooke and owner Michael Feterik played in the move. "Trey and I go back 25 years. Trey's an excellent coach, very professional."

Some Stampeders players felt Junkin had taken on a heightened role last season as Dunigan's confidant in crucial matters involving the club.

Assistant coach Craig Dickenson is a leading candidate to assume special teams duties in 2005.


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