CFL Pass

Calgary Stampeders reduce coaching staff amid pandemic economic pain

CALGARY — The Calgary Stampeders coaching staff remains mostly intact for 2021 with the exception of a pair of position coaches.

Running backs coach George Cortez and defensive backs coach Joshua Bell will not return because of economic reasons.

The CFL imposed a 20 per cent reduction on the football operations cap of the league's nine teams in June, when the COVID-19 pandemic delayed a season that was ultimately cancelled.

"With the CFL-imposed reduction to the football operations cap, some tough decisions had to be made and it’s unfortunate we weren’t able to bring back everyone," head coach Dave Dickenson said Tuesday in a statement.

"We’re sorry to see Josh and George go and I can’t thank them enough for everything they’ve done for this team."

Dickenson returns for a fifth season. He coached the Stampeders to the Grey Cup game in each of his first three campaigns and won in 2018.

The Stampeders lost to the eventual Grey Cup champion Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the 2019 West Division semifinal.

Dickenson's regular-season coaching record with Calgary is 53-17-2.

Offensive line coach Pat DelMonaco was going to add offensive co-ordinator to his title in 2020 and continues in that dual role.

Special teams co-ordinator Mark Kilam is also an assistant head coach of the club.

Defensive co-ordinator Brent Monson, quarterbacks and running backs coach Marc Mueller, defensive backs coach and CFL draft co-ordinator Dwayne Cameron, defensive line coach Corey Mace and receivers coach Marquay Daniels also remain with the team.

"Continuity has been a key element in our success over the years and I’m very happy to have all these familiar faces as part of our coaching staff," said Dickenson, who has been a member of Calgary's coaching staff since 2009.

"A few of the coaches have some different roles and I’m confident they will thrive with these added responsibilities.

"Like so many people in this country, we miss being on the field this year but we’re looking forward to returning to action in 2021. With this group of coaches, I know we’ll be prepared when circumstances allow us to start playing again."

Taylor Altilio is shifting from special teams assistant to strength and conditioning co-ordinator.

He takes over for Keenan MacDougall, who is leaving the Stampeders for doctorate studies.

Returning members of the football operations department include general manager John Hufnagel, director of player personnel Brendan Mahoney, director of U.S. scouting Cole Hufnagel, regional scouting consultant Russ Lande, director of football operations Nick Bojda and director of football administration Molly Campbell.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 17, 2020.