Pinball set to pack it in?

ROB LONGLEY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:58 AM ET

As recently as five days ago, Michael (Pinball) Clemons expected that today he would be overseeing his team's final big practice in advance of the Grey Cup.

Instead, he is left to douse rumours that his coaching days with the Argos are finished.

Several reports yesterday claimed that Clemons will announce he is stepping down sometime next week.

The popular coach has neither confirmed nor denied his intentions, however.

"My wife and I are still going to talk about the decision over the weekend and to the early part of next week," Clemons said yesterday while a guest on TSN's Off The Record.

The club wouldn't comment on his future last night, though his exit has been widely speculated for weeks.

Teams are forbidden from making personnel announcements during Grey Cup week to avoid taking any shine from the festivities surrounding the big game.

A team source familiar with Clemons' situation said last night that it is unlikely the coach will return.

Clemons' contract expired following the season, which ended with a crushing 19-9 loss to Winnipeg in the East final. But that is the normal way the coach conducts his business. He always defers his decision until meeting with his wife, Diane, though it has been speculated that he returned in 2007 was only because the Boatmen were playing host to the Grey Cup.

If Clemons were to retire, it wouldn't come as a surprise, given that he often has said he doesn't plan to coach for the rest of his life. Also, he recently launched his charitable foundation which is expected to take up much of his time.

Clemons began his second stint as Argos coach in 2002, guiding them to a Grey Cup win two seasons later. This past season was the team's sixth consecutive playoff berth, a club record.

If Clemons leaves, the team's longtime defensive coordinator, Rich Stubler, is considered the most likely successor.

In any event, it will be a busy off-season for the Argos who first must find a replacement for outgoing team president, Keith Pelley.


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