No more turnovers

RANDY SPORTAK, CALGARY SUN

, Last Updated: 9:48 AM ET

The Power Point presentation was complete with a flow chart. Stan Schwartz was back with the Calgary Stampeders, a senior executive to the executive committee comprised of three of the dozen co-owners: John Forzani, Ted Hellard and Doug Mitchell.

The gregarious Hellard assumed the president's job on an interim basis.

On one half of the spill was Darrell Moir, the former player who'll step in as vice-president of marketing and operations. On the other was Tom Higgins, taking the role as head coach and senior VP of football operations.

The branches under Higgins spread in two directions, one heading to the on-field staff starting with Denny Creehan as assistant head coach on top of his defensive co-ordinator duties, the other going to Jim Barker -- the new GM in charge of player personnel.

However, like a chess master, the ownership group already sees the moves of the future.

In time, Higgins is slated to take over as president. Creehan would bump up to head coach.

There are also the other possibilities.

Moir could also be a potential president, just like Barker could be back as head coach.

Seeing as the last three years saw a revolving door whip people in and out of the place, it seems as if there's long-term plans now down at McMahon Stadium.

"There's a clear-cut succession plan that has been put in place," Hellard said. "Tom wants to be the coach this year to make sure he can inject the culture that he thinks is critical into the organization at a football level.

"Denny will make a great assistant coach and a great head coach when that succession plan comes together because Tom has a tremendous amount of experience beyond coaching, and effectively he can step up -- ultimately -- to where I want to get out of.

"It shows everybody the channel in which they can move within the organization. With any organization, that's the most critical thing you can have. If you don't show people room for growth, don't show them the path to move forward, they'll leave. Our goal is to have complete continuity. I'd love to see every name up there be there for the next 10 years."

Certainly, that's a far cry from the one-year stints the now-departed Ron Rooke had as president and Matt Dunigan served as GM/head coach, both of whom were let go Thursday.

Before yesterday's announcements were made, the general thought was Schwartz would be back in his old role as president.

Hellard, who won't collect a penny in that chair, said after much debate they decided to go in a different direction.

"We're moving into lots of projects," Hellard said. "We're going to get after the (2007) Grey Cup and have McMahon Stadium issues we want to deal with and we want to step Stan up. The day-to-day operations are pretty much mundane, so we're going to use his knowledge to take us further."

Which meant the need for someone else to serve as president. Enter Hellard.

"In the circumstances we're in and based on what I know has to be done, I think I'm the best guy to do it," Hellard said of his new post.

"I'll get the job done. I'm kinda excited about it. For a couple of years, I'm willing to throw my hat in the ring, work hard and get this turned around."


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