Ritchie a good bet to join Esks

GERRY PRINCE -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 9:10 AM ET

Dave Ritchie is on the move, of that there is no doubt.

The only question to be answered is which CFL city the former Winnipeg Blue Bombers head coach will turn up in.

Ritchie, 66, currently has an offer from Wally Buono to take over as the B.C. Lions' defensive line coach.

The seasonal position would net Ritchie a pay cheque from April through the end of the 2005 football season.

He's also the top candidate to fill the vacant defensive co-ordinator's position with the Edmonton Eskimos.

Until Ritchie has had a chance to listen to what the Green and Gold might be prepared to offer, the CFL's 2001 Coach of the Year plans to bide his time before calling in the movers.

"That was what Wally and I discussed," Ritchie explained from Winnipeg yesterday. "We're just waiting to see what happens."

Esks' head coach Danny Maciocia and Ritchie have talked on several occasions the past couple of weeks.

But Maciocia has yet to offer the Cincinnati native a contract for the position that opened up when Greg Marshall resigned Jan. 24.

Maciocia aims to fill Marshall's spot on the coaching staff within the next 10 to 14 days.

He and Ritchie are scheduled to chat again next week.

The rookie Esks' head coach returned to work Tuesday after spending two weeks coaching Team Canada to a gold medal-finish at the NFL Global Junior Championship.

Although contact has been sporadic, Ritchie understands what Maciocia is up against at this point.

"When you're away from your desk for a couple of weeks and you come back and everything is new," said Ritchie. "And being the head coach is new. That's new enough without having to say I'm also hiring coaches. There's a lot of things and he's going to have to grow into them."

Edmonton's defensive co-ordinator position would be more financially lucrative than the one being offered by Buono and naturally more appealing to Ritchie.

But all that glitters is not gold.

"It has to meet everybody's expectations, I guess you could say," Ritchie said. "They've got a great program there. It always has been."

CALVILLO STAYING: Anthony Calvillo won't have to deal with questions this season about his future with the Montreal Alouettes.

The Als have scheduled a news conference today to announce that they've given the 11-year veteran quarterback a contract extension, league sources said.

Calvillo was scheduled to become a free agent after the 2005 season.

Contract details weren't available but Calvillo reportedly earned about $350,000 last season, leaving him among the CFL's highest-paid players.

B.C. Lions quarterback Dave Dickenson is generally regarded as the league's top wage earner (making approximately $400,000 annually).

TURF STORY: Montreal's loss could end up being the B.C. Lions' gain.

The B.C. government is looking at spending $1 million to bring the turf used by the Montreal Expos in their final Major League Baseball season at Olympic Stadium and installing it at B.C. Place, home of the Lions.


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