Longtime receivers coach Pete Costanza moves on from Stampeders
After 12 years serving as the Calgary Stampeders receivers coach, Pete Costanza decided it was time to pursue other opportunities.
He wants to be an offensive coordinator or a head coach somewhere, and right now those opportunities just aren’t available in Calgary.
“I’ve been here 12 years, we’ve won three Grey Cups and I’ve had a great run and I honestly feel that there’s not much more I can do,” Costanza said. “I want to grow. I want to coach in the CFL. I’ve been a head coach, I’ve been a coordinator before and that fire still kinda burns in me, so I’m looking for new opportunities to spread my wings.”
The Stampeders sent out a press release on Wednesday morning to announce that Costanza won’t be back for the 2020 season and then held a media availability with their longtime receivers coach at McMahon Stadium.
The press release wasn’t unusual. That’s what has happened in the last couple of years when coaches have left the organization.
But the media availability was different and reinforced that this was not an acrimonious departure, despite reports that Costanza was let-go because the Stamps couldn’t fit his salary under the CFL’s football operations cap.
On Wednesday, Costanza said he couldn’t speak to the team’s coaching budget but emphasized that the decision to leave Calgary was his and his alone.
“Looking at my career and where I want to go, I don’t know how much longer I can stay here and just do the same thing,” Costanza said. “Dave and I talked. We always talk at the end of the year about what your goals are and what you want to do in the future, and we talked about it and truthfully, it’s the best thing for me moving forward.
“I love my players more than anything else. They’re more than … the names on the back and their numbers on the jersey. Those guys and my guys, I’m going to miss them more than anything. It’s just time to land in another city and hopefully put in another 10 to 12 (years).”
In his 12 years coaching for the Stamps, Costanza was part of three Grey Cup wins and coached stars like Nik Lewis, Marquay McDaniel, Kamar Jorden, and Reggie Begelton among many others.
Current players like Hergy Mayala and Derek Dennis took to Twitter to offer tributes to Costanza and wish him luck with his next coaching adventure.
Costanza said he’d go grab lunch and enjoy some mountain air before trying to figure out where that adventure might take him, but he knows exactly what sort of job he’s looking for.
“Being a position coach was great but I feel I’ve got more to offer,” Costanza said. “I want to try to be an OC. I want to try to move up the ladder and I want to eventually get out there and hopefully lead a franchise and win a Grey Cup.”
The CFL announced its league-wide all-stars on Wednesday morning, and three Stampeders made the list.
Receiver Reggie Begelton, cornerback Tre Roberson and offensive guard Shane Bergman were all first-time all-stars, as determined by voting members of the Football Reporters of Canada and one ballot from each team’s coaching staff.
Begelton finished the season second in the CFL in receptions and third in both receiving yards and touchdowns. Bergman, meanwhile, was a huge part of an offensive line that allowed the second-fewest sacks in the league while Roberson had the second-most interceptions and scored two touchdowns, one on an interception return and one after a fumble recovery.
ON THE WAY OUT?
A report from TSN’s Farhan Lalji on Wednesday morning said that Stampeders special teams coordinator Mark Kilam and quarterbacks coach Ryan Dinwiddie are both interviewing this week for the Ottawa Redblacks’ head coaching job.
Both guys have long been rumoured to be in the conversation for the job in Ottawa, which was made vacant when the team and former head coach Rick Campbell agreed to part ways at season’s end.
The Stamps re-signed Canadian fullback William Langlais on Wednesday.
The 29-year-old has spent his entire five-year career with the Stampeders and has played a total of 85 games for the team. He was limited to only nine regular-season games and the West semifinal due to an injury in 2019 but is one of the Stamps’ most experience special teamers.
The Stamps also announced the signings of free agents, including Canadian defensive back Malcolm Thompson and Americans Marcus McMaryion, a quarterback out of Fresno State, offensive lineman Jordan Morgan, out of Kutztown and defensive lineman Mbi Tanyi, out of Maryland.