Cortez, Barker stick around

IAN BUSBY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 12:13 PM ET

John Hufnagel's first order of duty with the Calgary Stampeders is to assemble a coaching staff, and he announced his first move yesterday.

In his first address as head coach and GM, Hufnagel confirmed his friend George Cortez will stay on as assistant head coach, offensive co-ordinator and quarterbacks coach. The remaining members of the 2007 coaching staff will be evaluated and one-on-one meetings will take place before decisions are made.

It has been widely speculated Hufnagel will clean house, but he will do his due diligence with each coach.

He didn't need a formal introduction to Cortez because the two football coaches go back to when both were assistants with the Stampeders starting in 1992. The two have stayed in touch when Hufnagel was coaching with five different NFL teams.

"George is an excellent football coach, and I think you saw that in Henry's play this year," Hufnagel said, referring to QB Henry Burris' season in which he set a career-high for touchdown passes despite missing four games.

With Hufnagel's arrival, president Ted Hellard takes the role of managing partner and will be less-involved in day-to-day operations.

Jim Barker has also been retained and will perform many of his same duties despite his title changing from general manager to director of player personnel.

"Jim will find the right personnel to create a winning environment for this team," Hufnagel said. "Jim's duties will not change a lot but he will have my input and approval."


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