Argos close in on coach

TERRY KOSHAN, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 7:52 AM ET

No head coach yet for the Argonauts, but they have signed defensive end Claude Harriott through 2010.

Harriott impressed last season after joining the Argos for the final seven games, making 20 tackles and recording two sacks.

"This is a blessing," the 6-foot-4, 252-pound Harriott said. "The Argos opened doors for me to play football again and feel wanted. I saw a lot of improvement in the short time I was here, both on the defensive line and in myself."

Argonauts general manager Adam Rita said the Argos have shortened their list of coaching candidates to "four or five" names. B.C. Lions defensive co-ordinator Mike Benevides, University of Buffalo assistant coach Danny Barrett, Saskatchewan Roughriders defensive assistant Richie Hall and Winnipeg Blue Bombers assistant Greg Marshall have all been rumoured to be on the Argos' radar screen. Other candidates who interested the Argos, including George Cortez and Tom Clements, made it known they are not interested.

FEB. 1 DEADLINE

The plan of the Argos management was to whittle a list down to a handful of names and then get owners David Cynamon and Howard Sokolowski involved in the process. But Rita said the latter half of the plan has not yet been put into practice.

"It was difficult to get down to the number we are at now," Rita said.

Rita said he is sticking to his self-imposed deadline of Feb. 1 to have a new coach in place. But there remains the fairly strong possibility a new man will be hired before then. CEO Michael (Pinball) Clemons has said he will not be going back to the sideline.

The new coach will be charged with wiping egg off the organization's face. Don Matthews was 0-8 after Rich Stubler guided the team to a 4-6 mark and was fired. At 4-14, the Argos missed the playoffs for the first time in seven years.

Meanwhile, Argos legend Joe (King) Krol is in Sunnybrook Hospital, recovering from a fall in his home.


Videos

Photos