Pinball ready for new role

ROB LONGLEY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 12:17 PM ET

Michael (Pinball) Clemons has often said he will be an Argo for life but not a life-long coach.

Today at a Rogers Centre press conference, the team is expected to finally unveil the popular ex-player's new role and position with the franchise.

Despite a delay in confirming his decision, it is believed that Clemons will move from his coaching duties to a major position within the front office.

As reported by Sun Media yesterday, it is also expected that Brad Watters will be named to a senior management position with the team.

It has been revealed, however, that Watters will not hold down the top spot in the restructured front office.

Watters, who headed the operations of this year's Grey Cup for Argos owners David Cynamon and Howard Sokolowski, is likely to handle much of the day-to-day business of the team.

Meanwhile, if Clemons is named team president, he would hold down significantly more than a figurehead position.

Both owners, Clemons and what the team refers to as "another executive involved" will be in attendance for what is being billed as "a major executive announcement."

The re-structuring became necessary with Keith Pelley's departure to head the CTV-Rogers broadcast consortium for the 2010 Winter and 2012 Summer Olympics.

An Argos spokesperson said yesterday that the team won't reveal pending re-structuring of football operations until later in the week.

But if Clemons does in fact step down, the owners have hinted that longtime defensive co-ordinator Rich Stubler will take over.

HUFNAGEL RETURNS

In Calgary, John Hufnagel plans to introduce some law and order to the most penalized team in the CFL.

Hufnagel, 56, has returned to Calgary to coach and manage a team for which he has played quarterback and served as offensive co-ordinator. Hufnagel's long-rumoured hiring as head coach and GM was announced yesterday at McMahon Stadium.

Reports of the move surfaced before the Stampeders' season ended with a loss to Saskatchewan in the West Division semi-final Nov. 11.

Hufnagel replaced Tom Higgins, whose three-year run as head coach ended last month.

Higgins was offered a front-office job, but turned it down.

The 7-10-1 Stampeders had one of the most potent offences in the CFL, but constantly negated yardage gains with penalties and turnovers.

"We will strive to eliminate what I call bad football that cursed this team last year," Hufnagel said.

Former GM Jim Barker remains with the club as director of player personnel and vice-president of football operations.

The key to getting Hufnagel to return was giving him the title of GM, in addition to that of head coach.


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