Uh-oh, not again

DAN TOTH -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 8:29 AM ET

Tom Higgins understandably regards his nomination for CFL coach of the year as a "great honour."

Now he can only hope he doesn't win.

It certainly didn't cement his future in Edmonton as Higgins was fired by the Eskimos a year after latching onto the Annis Stukus Award in 2003.

The accolade is considered by many the coaching kiss of death.

"Been there," chuckled the Calgary Stampeders head coach/senior v.p. of football operations, whose job is secure after guiding the rebuilt franchise to an 11-7 record in 2005.

The mark was a dramatic turnaround from the previous three campaigns, including a berth in the CFL West semifinal.

"It comes with the territory in this business and you know that when you come into this job," said Higgins, praised throughout the CFL last season for resurrecting the franchise. "It is the best profession and, at times, the worst profession."

It is Higgins' third coach-of-the- year nomination in just five seasons in the role.

Current Eskimos head coach Danny Maciocia and Toronto Argos boss Michael (Pinball) Clemons are the other nominees.

"I'm flattered to be a finalist," Maciocia said. "For a first-year coach it doesn't get any better than that. But Tom Higgins took a team that hadn't made the playoffs for the last few years and led them to a playoff berth and second place in the West."

The award will be presented Feb. 23 in Toronto.


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