Stubler waiting in wings

ROB LONGLEY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:24 AM ET

When Michael (Pinball) Clemons signed on as Argos coach late in 2002, he never intended to settle into the profession for life.

So, few in the Boatmen organization would be surprised if Clemons moved on to other pursuits following the team's pending playoff run.

"I think Michael has been consistent in telling us he doesn't want to coach for the rest of his life," Argos president Keith Pelley said yesterday amid speculation Clemons is in the final year on the sidelines.

"He has other aspirations and he very well may move on. But we will wait to hear from him after the season because his focus is on the Eastern final.

"Even if we wanted to discuss it with him we probably couldn't."

As a rule, Clemons signs a one-year deal then discusses his situation with his wife in the off-season.

Assistant coach/defensive co-ordinator Rich Stubler long has been touted as Clemons' logical replacement.

The architect of a dominating defence, Stubler could be in high demand following this season, which would help ease the transition from Clemons.

"Stubler is going to be a head coach in this league, he deserves that opportunity," a CFL source said yesterday.

"Even if it's not in Toronto, he is going to be a head coach. You don't do what he has with those defences and not get a shot."

Whether the Argos' run ends after the Nov. 18 Eastern final or the Nov. 25 Grey Cup, it will be a busy off-season for the franchise.

Pelley will leave his post as president immediately following the season to oversee broadcast operations for the 2010 Olympics.

It has been speculated that former Ottawa Renegades president Brad Watters will be hired and he is considered a candidate. However, a team source said yesterday that others are also in the mix -- including Clemons -- and that the Argos ownership isn't likely to hire Pelley's replacement until after the Grey Cup.


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