Argos working hard to keep Stubler

PERRY LEFKO -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:27 AM ET

Highly respected defensive co-ordinator Rich Stubler is expected to re-sign with the Argos, although the Edmonton Eskimos have talked to him about their vacant head coaching job. Two sources said the Argos and Stubler are working on a long-term contract.

"He's not going anywhere," one source said.

"Rich will be an Argo," another source said.

Stubler has worked for the Eskimos before as an assistant but was overlooked in 1999 when they had a head-coaching vacancy. He has worked off and on for the Argos the past four years and is respected throughout the organization, in particular by coach Pinball Clemons.

SNIFFING AROUND

The Eskimos also have contacted Argos offensive co-ordinator Kent Austin and Adam Rita, the team's vice-president of football operations.

A source said Austin, in his second year as a professional coach and just concluded his first year as an offensive co-ordinator, maybe on the short list to fill the Eskimos' job, which became available when Tom Higgins resigned.

Rita recently told The Toronto Sun he is content in his job.

Lions offensive co-ordinator Steve Buratto, who won the Grey Cup in 2000 as the Lions' head coach, is rumoured to be one of the front runners.

Among others the Esks have talked to are: Ottawa Renegades head coach/director of football operations Joe Paopao and Eskimos' offensive co-ordinator Danny Maciocia.

There is speculation the Eskimos may hire Maciocia as a means to lure back quarterback Ricky Ray, who signed with the New York Jets after winning the Grey Cup last year with Edmonton, but who has become nothing more than a practice roster player and occasional third-stringer.


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