Argos name coaching staff

TERRY KOSHAN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:47 PM ET

Jim Barker has put his finishing touches on the Argonauts coaching staff.

Eight of them, to be precise.

Barker, hired as the head coach of the Argos 10 days ago, on Friday announced that Jaime Elizondo is the new offensive co-ordinator, Chip Garber is the defensive co-ordinator and Mike O’Shea, whose prolific CFL career ended a year ago, is the special teams co-ordinator.

“I am genuinely thrilled I was able to put together this group of coaches who represent a great blend of experience and CFL knowledge, age and youth, veterans and new blood,” Barker said. “I believe we will have great synergy and work together effectively in order to bring the fans of Toronto some excitement combined with solid fundamentals. More than anything, these are guys I want to be around and go to war with. We are going to hit the ground running and get ready for the 2010 season.”

Barker did not hire anyone who had been on a CFL coaching staff last season, so everyone who was on Bart Andrus’ staff officially is gone. Barker’s hands were tied, given the fact his hiring should have been done at least a month ago. The dragging out of the ownership issue meant the Argos fell behind in compiling a new coaching staff after Andrus was fired in mid-December.

Elizondo, who also will be the quarterbacks coach, has worked with the Montreal Alouettes, New Orleans Saints and last year was the wide receivers coach at Syracuse University.

Elizondo said he would have to watch more video before he decides whether Kerry Joseph will be the Argos’ quarterback this season.

Garber comes from the Washington Redskins, where he was the defensive quality control coach in 2009. Two years ago, Garber was the defensive backs coach with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

Former Argo Orlondo Steinauer is the defensive backs coach, while George Dyer will be responsible for the defensive line. Greg Quick has been hired as the linebackers coach.

On offence, Cos DeMatteo is the new receivers coach and Stephen McAdoo is the offensive line coach.

“In making this decision, the guys I trust and I talked to said it is the next best thing (to playing),” said O’Shea, who acknowledged he never did sign retirement papers.

“In fact, a couple of guys said it is better than playing — having your hand in moulding, helping to shape a season, helping put 42 guys in the right position.”


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