Back in the saddle

DAN TOTH -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 8:54 AM ET

The Calgary Stampeders' coaching carousel has officially ground to a halt.

The CFL club announced yesterday it has re-signed its entire staff from this past season, save for quarterback/ receivers coach Bill Diedrick, who could also return.

Steve Buratto has agreed to a multi-year contract extension under the new title associate head coach/offensive co-ordinator, while special teams coach Craig Dickenson, defensive line boss Casey Creehan and secondary mentor Tim Burke will return in '06.

The continuity improves the Stampeders' chances of being a Grey Cup contender again next season, said head coach/v.p. of football operations Tom Higgins.

"This gives us a chance to come out of the blocks next season smoking," said Higgins, who also signed a contract extension recently, along with associate head coach/defensive co-ordinator Denny Creehan. "Last year things didn't click until half way through the football season where everybody was really comfortable with one another."

This season, the Stampeders started the season 5-5 but after Labour Day, piled up victories in the stretch run, winning seven of their final eight games to finish 11-7, hosting the West semifinal.

Diedrick, credited with helping develop starting QB Henry Burris, has left on vacation and likely will receive offers from U.S. colleges or NFL teams, although the Stampeders are still working to keep him.


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