Creehan harbours mixed emotions

DAN TOTH -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 12:28 PM ET

Tom Higgins will not relinquish his head coaching duties next season, the Calgary Stampeders confirmed yesterday.

Denny Creehan, the team's defensive co-ordinator and assistant head coach, admits he's disappointed he wasn't promoted to head coach -- but that offer could still come from another CFL team.

"Unless I'm a head coach someplace else, I'll be here," said Creehan, architect behind one of the CFL's most formidable defences.

"My goal is to be a head coach. You don't work all your life to be an assistant coach.

"If that's here, awesome. If it's somewhere else, that's how it goes."

Creehan and offensive co-ordinator Steve Buratto have been offered contracts to become associate head coaches/co-ordinators, part of the franchise's restructuring.

This comes at a time when Winnipeg Blue Bombers GM Brendan Taman has begun the search for a new head coach.

Creehan and Buratto are candidates.

Taman said promotions within the Stampeders organization wouldn't deter him but rather underlines the value of both coaches.

"If we weren't interested (in Creehan and Buratto), people would be wondering why," he said yesterday.

Creehan is likely receiving offers from U.S. colleges, although a head coaching job in a small program would be a step backward for a man with some 35 years experience.

"I have mixed emotions about the whole thing," he said.

"The contract offer that's been put in front of me is a good one but that doesn't mean I can't be disappointed I'm not a head coach when I was supposed to be one."

Stampeders president Ted Hellard said he is aware of Creehan's disappointment.

"We have come to understand each other and now it's time to look at what we can do as an organization and what we can offer him," he said.

"If he signs our contract, which is multi-year, he will also have the right, as all CFL coaches do, to take a promotion elsewhere. We acknowledge that possibility is always there."


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