The scapegoat

DAN TOTH -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 7:50 AM ET

Not everyone is blaming Matt Dunigan for the Calgary Stampeders' 4-14 record last season.

Veteran o-lineman Jamie Crysdale said yesterday he has mixed emotions since learning Dunigan -- the Stamps' head coach and general manager last season -- won't return under the team's new ownership group.

"There were guys who liked Matt Dunigan and there were guys who didn't," said Crysdale, the senior player in the Stampeders locker-room with 12 years experience.

"It's no different than guys who liked Wally (Buono) and guys who didn't like Wally.

"I'm going to be disappointed to see Matt go as a head coach because the guy had a lot of passion and love for the game.

"They were almost in a no-win situation with (Michael) Feterik there and it's unfortunate they are the guys who have to pay the price for that.

"Matt had a lot on his plate and did the best he could with his limited experience.

"I'll definitely not say the guy did a bad job because the moves he made at the end of the year were great," he added, referring to the acquisition of quarterback Khari Jones.

Dunigan did not return calls yesterday.

Former Edmonton Eskimos boss Tom Higgins has long been rumoured to be in line for the GM-head coaching role in Calgary, although he could end up as director of football operations.

Under that scenario, current defensive co-ordinator Denny Creehan, who signed a one-year contract extension last month, might wind up with the head job.

"I have heard some of the same rumours and I've had one phone conversation with the new owners," said Creehan, in Florida on a scouting trip. "I'm hoping that works out at some point -- that would be great."

Former president Stan Schwartz, believed to be in line to regain his old job with the club, may end up with a lesser role in management.

Sources yesterday suggested the new Stamps president could come from within the ranks of a business operated by the new ownership group.


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