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Hogan: Argos looking to fill several coaching vacancies

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Mike Hogan
1/28/2014 4:57:04 PM
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Wanted. CFL coaches. Several openings available. Send your resume to Scott Milanovich c/o Toronto Argonauts. Experience preferred.

That may sound a bit extreme, but the Toronto Argonauts coaching staff has been decimated in the off-season. Former defensive coordinator Chris Jones is the new head coach in Edmonton, while former special teams coordinator Mike O'Shea was named as the Blue Bombers head coach in early December.

The main difference between the two? Jones didn't leave on his own.

On Tuesday, it was announced that Jones was bringing four members of last year's Argo staff with him to Edmonton. Steve McAdoo was Toronto's o-line coach for the past four seasons and becomes Edmonton's new offensive coordinator.

Ed Philion's first year coaching in the CFL was last year with the Argos defensive line, the same group he'll coach with the Eskies.

Two young assistant coaches, Jason Shivers and Craig Davoren leave Ontario to become defensive backs coach and offensive assistant coach respectively.

Scott Milanovich replaced Jones with former Winnipeg head coach Tim Burke, but now has a lot of vacancies on the staff. Was he surprised at all with the number of defections?

"Not at all," Milanovich told TSN.ca. "I knew a week after the season who was going."

The coach says that at some point after the season Eskies GM Ed Hervey called Jim Barker, his Toronto counterpart, and asked for permission. It's an expected part of life on the coaching carousel.

"All of the contracts would have been up at the end of the month. I spoke with Chris (Jones) about it. I told him who was and wasn't available. There were no surprises."

Perhaps the least shocking move is that McAdoo is heading west. He and Jones coached for three seasons together at Tennessee Tech, four years together with the Montreal Alouettes and the last two campaigns together in Toronto.

When Jones left, Burke was hired almost immediately to replace him. It was an easy fit. They had coached together in Montreal, Burke had a ton of experience and had great success as a DC in the league. The O'Shea replacement hasn't been as easy.

"I think (special teams coordinator) is a very difficult position to fill in the CFL" Milanovich explained to TSN.ca "It doesn't get the respect it deserves. I don't think you can go and get an NCAA D-1 or NFL coach and get a successful transition in one year. The return game, the halo, the number of snaps you take on special teams makes it more of a position that needs CFL or CIS experience."

The search continues and Milanovich says the club has focsed on several candidates.

"I have spoken to maybe four or five" continued the coach. "I've dug around and asked about six or seven others and have asked other guys for their opinions."

Historically the CIS has been snubbed as a breeding ground for CFL coaches, though Mike O'Shea named long-time Queen's DC Pat Tracey as the Bombers special teams coach. Would Milanovich have a problem going that route?

"Not for the right guy."

Milanovich hopes to have that guy, and the rest of his new staff assembled in the next two to three weeks. He hopes to announce the entire staff at the same time.

Scott Milanovich (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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