Pinball stepping down as coach

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The Toronto Argonauts are preparing to fill two key positions with a couple of well known names.

CFL sources say head coach Michael Clemons will step down at the conclusion of this season and be replaced by defensive co-ordinator Rich Stubler.

Meanwhile, former Ottawa Renegades president Brad Watters is the leading candidate to replace outgoing Argo president Keith Pelley. Watters declined comment on Wednesday, saying only that he was focused on his duties overseeing the upcoming 2007 Grey Cup in Toronto.

Stubler's CFL career began back in 1983 with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats but he has also coached in Edmonton and B.C. He also coached in the U.S. college ranks and the Arena Football League before becoming Toronto's defensive co-ordinator in 2003.

Under Stubler, the Argos have consistently ranked among the league's best defensive teams with a system that focuses on eliminating big plays by the opposition.

Watters, a Toronto native and son of former Toronto Maple Leaf executive Bill Watters, is currently president of the National Lacrosse League's Toronto Rock, along with his Grey Cup and other sports marketing duties.

According to a source, Clemons had promised Argo owners David Cynamon and Howard Sokolowski that he would remain as head coach through the end of the 2007 season. While it is likely Clemons will remain with the Argos in some capacity, he is apparently not a candidate to replace outgoing team president Keith Pelley.

Clemons, first named coach in 2000 before resigning at the end of the 2001 season to become team president. By halfway through the 2002 season he was back on the sideline where he's remained every since, leading Toronto to the playoffs each year and the Grey Cup title in 2004.

The Argos have this week off after earning a bye for finishing first in the East Division. Toronto will host the winner of Sunday's East Division semifinal between Montreal and Winnipeg.

I personaly think that Pinball is one of the worst coaches in the cfl, so I will be sad to see him go

Its too bad that he is leaving, he has been great for the league, especially for the Argos. I wish him the best no matter what he does in the future.

Pinball, a class act through and through - wish there were more like him- a role model to look up to for kids and adults!!!

An addition to my earlier post. I agree that Pinball is nothing but class. He has been great for the league, I just don't think he is the best football mind out there.

Didn't see this coming, but it doesn't sound like much will change in T.O., since it's the defence that carries the team.

...kind of strange timing...BUT...i think it proves one thing and who the Argos really revolve around....that being Stubler....the defensive head-coach... :wink:

Stubler is the obvious choice to be pinball's successor he has been with the team a long time and has kept hte defence one of the best in the league year in year out for several years despite players coming and going in various positions. He has more than paid his dues and should be given a shot at running the whole show once pinball leaves at the end of the season

Hehe i like his toothy grin :stuck_out_tongue:

Pinball has a very very good won loss record as coach. Consider he took over from John Huard (big mess) & came from the front office to replace Gary Etcheverry during mid season a couple years later.

I have to disagree with you about Pinball being one of the worst coaches in the league. Perhaps you see him as a good motivator who is surrounded by a strong coaching staff?

hold the phone on Pinball leaving......these words were written in the NFL-loving, CFL-bashing Globe and Mail with no actual quotes from the man himself. How many times has the media had Favre retiring? And who is the quarterback of the Green Bay Packers? Media people don't make the decisions.

The main page says he has not yet decided

kind of strange timing...
The Argos or Pinball did not go to the media and announce he may be leaving. This is an old story from last year, when Pinball said that this could be his last year. Adrion Smith apparantly brought this up in a recent radio show.

It is newspapers like the Globe and Mail which chose to make it front page news, just before the start of the playoffs, pretending it is some breaking news story...and taking attention away from the game and on some media generated controversy. They at least called Pinball and he denied making any decision about his future.

The same thing happened in Calgary. Petrie writes in his blog about the Stamps probably hiring Huff for next season. This is also old news that he dregged up, but released it again, just before their big playoff game...thus taking Higgins out at the knees.

Sells newspapers I guess... :roll:

Hey they're trying to dig up some controversy. Better that than ignore the CFL or only print negative stuff.

The Argos or the league need to keep Pinball around. He's one of the best ambassadors of the game the CFL has.

They should make him the head of something in the CFL office.

Xvys: Could end up having the opposite effect of taking someone out at the knees. Could end up uniting the team to play harder.