Stamps staff receive new deals

DAN TOTH -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 7:26 AM ET

The Calgary Stampeders coaching staff will look remarkably similar next season, despite a disappointing playoff loss.

Apart from the departure of offensive co-ordinator Steve Buratto, fired three weeks ago, most staff will return in 2007, the club announced yesterday.

Defensive co-ordinator Denny Creehan's contract has been extended through the 2008 CFL season while defensive assistants Tim Burke and Casey Creehan have signed 2007 contracts.

Special teams co-ordinator Craig Dickenson has also agreed to a contract extension.

The team also clarified the roles of Tom Higgins, senior v.p. of football operations, and GM Jim Barker.

The team said in a statement the two will be "working closely with respect to football and player personnel decisions," an apparent attempt to allay rumblings there has been front-office friction.

"There has been, outside of the organization, people thinking it hasn't been good but what we've done is we've shown who is responsible and where," Higgins said, trying to clarify their roles.

"He and I work very closely together ... I want Jim to be the 'bad guy' and me to be the 'good guy' (in player relations) because I'm dealing with the athletes. When we're talking with an athlete, I can tell them how much we want them (on the team) but there still are guidelines and stipulations (in terms of contracts and salary cap restrictions)."

The Stampeders also continue to interview prospective offensive co-ordinators to replace Buratto. Higgins said the new OC will make decisions on assistants.

Stamps QB coach Bill Diedrick and Saskatchewan assistant George Cortez have been interviewed, along with other candidates Higgins refused to name.

The ownership group also appointed minority owner Ted Hellard managing partner and president through 2009. Hellard has been president the last two seasons.


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