Milanovich to choose own staff

FRANK ZICARELLI, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:40 PM ET

TORONTO - In Jim Barker’s world, there was one choice and only once choice when it came to finding his successor behind the Argos bench.

“For me, it was a no-brainer,’’ Barker said on Thursday when discussing his appointment of Scott Milanovich as Toronto’s newest head coach. “When he was offered this job two years ago (before Barker accepted it), I was helping him get it.”

When Argos president Bob Nicholson did his due diligence, it was Barker — then director of player personnel with the Calgary Stampeders — who often was on the other end of the telephone.

Barker will have no say as Milanovich assembles his staff, no say in how many holdovers from Barker’s staff are retained or get released.

It remains to be seen what happens with Orlondo Steinauer, who went from secondary coach to defensive co-ordinator when Barker fired Chip Garber midway through the season.

With Chris Jones, who roomed with Milanovich while the two were assistants with the Alouettes, poised to be introduced as the Argos’ new defensive co-ordinator, Steinauer will either be asked to return to the secondary or he’ll be looking for work.

Naturally, other assistants in Montreal, where Milanovich served as Marc Trestman’s right-hand man on offence, have been linked with the Argos.

But the biggest question will involve Mike O’Shea, who was seen as a potential candidate for the Argos’ head-coaching job. During Milanovich’s introductory news conferencen, he lauded O’Shea as a guy who pushed the envelope as Toronto’s special teams co-ordinator.

“This is not a slam on Mike O’Shea,’’ Barker said. “Mike O’Shea is a good young coach and he’ll get an opportunity soon to be a head coach.

“Scott was more ready.”

Andre Durie, one of three Argos players who attended the Milanovich unveiling, is looking forward to next season.

“He’s going to utilize all his weapons,’’ Durie said. “When he was in Montreal, they put defences on skates because that offence made plays.

“I think he’s going to be a great coach. He has a long history and he has a long history of winning.”


Videos

Photos