Argos Finalize Coaching Staff

2009-02-06 12:15:00 Staff

MISSISSAUGA -- Toronto Argonauts Head Coach Bart Andrus has finalized his 2009 coaching staff by naming veteran CFL coach Steve Buratto Special Teams Coordinator and Running Backs Coach, and introducing new Defensive Line Coach Rex Norris as well as new Tight Ends & Offensive Quality Control Coach Robert Hunt.

Head Coach Bart Andrus commented on his team of coaches, “I feel very good about the composition of this coaching staff. These men are coaches who have always been with championship teams. They are excellent teachers who are very demanding of their players, without being harsh, and I’m confident they will quickly pick up the nuances of the CFL game, and create a work environment that is harmonious with everyone pulling together for the same goal.?

With more than 28-years of CFL coaching experience, Steve Buratto’s insight to the game will prove invaluable to the rest of the staff. He was named Argonauts offensive coordinator in 2007 after positions as a head coach, offensive coordinator, defensive coordinator and offensive line coach with Saskatchewan, Calgary, BC and Baltimore. He’s a two-time Grey Cup champion (Baltimore in 1995 and BC in 2000) and has developed some of the most talented players in CFL history. This will be his second post as Special Teams Coordinator. Steve acted as Special Teams Coordinator in BC when he was also Head Coach in 2000.

There may not be a coach anywhere with more defensive line knowledge than Rex Norris. He’s been employed to train and scheme for defensive linemen on four different NFL teams (Chicago Bears, Houston Oilers/Tennessee Titans, Denver Broncos, Detroit Lions), was entrusted as the defensive line coach, defensive coordinator and head coach at six of the top NCAA division 1A football programs (University of Texas, University of Tennessee, University of Florida, Arizona State University, University of Oklahoma, Texas A&M University), including two national championship teams, and has been part of two championship runs in NFL Europe with the Amsterdam Admirals (full bio attached).

At just 33 years old, Robert Hunt is the youngest member of the Argonauts coaching staff. He was identified early as a skilled coaching prospect and then advanced through the NFLE Coaching Development Program. Hunt was named a coaching intern, Tight Ends and Special Teams, with the Amsterdam Admirals (2005) for his first pro job and won the World Bowl as a member of Bart Andrus’ staff. As the Argos’ new Tight Ends & Offensive Quality Control coach, Hunt is the first person in team history to hold either title. He most recently worked at Howard University (2007-2008) as the Offensive Line & Run Game Coordinator (full bio attached).

Andrus remarked, “I’m very happy Steve Buratto has chosen to stay with the Argonauts organization. We will heavily lean on his experience as a CFL coach and his knowledge of the particulars that go into the CFL game. His overall knowledge of game management will definitely be an asset to our staff and his understanding of the unique CFL special teams game is unsurpassed. Rex Norris brings a wealth of professional and division 1 coaching experience. He’s worked with several Pro Bowlers over the years and worked with me in Amsterdam. I feel fortunate he will join us as he is a great teacher and example. Because Rex is here, our d-line will be better for it. Robert Hunt brings great work ethic to our organization. What he lacks in experience, he makes up for in determination to be best at what he does. He is one of hardest workers I’ve ever had on staff, with a great personality for players and other coaches to be around. I look forward to the contributions all three of these men will make to our team.?.

In addition to today’s announcements, below is a summary of the Argonauts’ 2009 coaching staff who have already been announced:

Ron Heller, Offensive Line Coach: After a playing career that lasted over 12-years and saw him block for Dan Marino and Jim McMahon, Heller went on to a successful coaching career in NFLE, working two years as an Offensive Line Coach before moving back to North America.

Mike Jones, Receivers Coach: Jones earned his coaching pedigree in NFL Europa where he worked his way up from receivers coach to head coach. Jones and Andrus faced each other many times as head coaches in NFLE, but no one game was bigger than the 2006 World Bowl.

Richard Kent, Secondary Coach: For the last five years, Kent has been a Defensive and Special Team’s Coordinator in Amsterdam where his teams were consistently rated best in the league defensively. On top of his coaching duties, he also worked as an NFL International Scout and Consultant.

Peter Kuharchek, Defensive Coordinator: A career coach with over 40 years of experience, Kuharchek has coached at every level from NCAA to the NFL to the CFL. Earning a reputation as one of the best defensive coaches in NFLE history, he was quickly promoted to head coach where he enjoyed five successful seasons.

Ed O’Neil, Linebackers Coach: O’Neil has almost 30 years experience in a variety of coaching positions. Most recently, he Defensive Coordinator with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in 2007. Before that, he spent eight years in NFL Europa where he won the World Bowl twice.

I can't help but think Steve Buratto is going to have his share of questions thrown his way. Out of curiousity, what duties does a quality control coach have?

I count eight assistant coaches which I believe is about two more then most teams carry. I'm sure Hamilton fans will believe that the Argos are now over spending on the coaches giving them an unfair advantage. Since the SMS has come into being I haven't heard too much of that old cry "the Argos are over the cap".

DoubleBlue :

Last year the Argos did not have enough coaches on the staff, so it is great to see them with a large staff this year. Is Andrus going to double as offensive co-ordinator?

A tight end coach too...kinda funny since they only have one tight-end on the roster (Steve Schmidt)..I guess he will have a lot of "one on one" time with his coach. :slight_smile:

I wonder if anyone's told Mr Andrus that Tight Ends are only very rarely used in the CFL in the 21st century.

Now he's starting to remind me of Kay Stephenson, a former Edmonton coach who tried to run an NFL style offence in the CFL, only to learn it doesn't work.

Is this "the" Ed O'Neil?......I did not know Al Bundy was a football coach too! :lol: Maybe Kelly will be an Argo cheerleader, and Bud a mascot!