Stampeders sign defensive co-ordinator to three year contract extension
posted November 23 @ 14:41, EST
CALGARY (CP) - Denny Creehan, the defensive mastermind of the Calgary Stampeders, has agreed to a three-year contract extension with the CFL club.
"You know as long as I'm going to be an assistant coach there's nowhere I'd rather be than here," Creehan said Wednesday. "I like the guys and I've been presented with a great contract offer. We've got our system firmly established and we have a chance to do good things.
Creehan hasn't given up on his dream of becoming a CFL head coach. His contract is structured in such a way that he has an out if the right offer comes along.
"If it was a good offer I would be free to do that. If it came along the Stamps would have the right to try and match the offer," Creehan said.
Creehan is rumoured to be one of a number of potential candidates for the vacant head coaching job with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. He still has hopes of taking on the head-coaching duties with the Stampeders, who lost the CFL West semifinal to the Edmonton Eskimos. But no promises have been made.
"The contract I have now is a long-term deal but no, there hasn't been any kind of promise like that. The clause is fairly common - if you have a chance to improve yourself you're allowed to go and the club has been good about allowing that clause to be in there," Creehan said.
Creehan, whose title is associate head coach and defensive co-ordinator, will take on additional duties next season.
"Having spent a year with him on the sidelines, I've been more impressed with Denny as a coach," said Tom Higgins, the team's head coach and vice-president of football operations. "As associate head coach-defensive co-ordinator we will increase his responsibilities while he still oversees the defence."
Higgins received a multi-year contract extension of his own Tuesday.
Under Creehan's direction the Stampeders defence had another dominating year. Calgary led the league in quarterback sacks, finished first in interception return yards and third in most interceptions and average gain per rush. Linebacker John Grace, who is a finalist for CFL Defensive Player of the Year, re-signed in February because he wanted to play for Creehan.
Creehan said he won't be able to watch this weekend's Grey Cup between Edmonton and Montreal because it would "just be too painful." But he has hopes of being around for a Grey Cup victory with Calgary.
"We have a good group and we're capable of doing good things," said Creehan.
Creehan will be entering his third season with the Stampeders but has over 30 years of coaching experience at both the professional and collegiate levels.
Before joining the Stampeders, Creehan spent three years as a coach with the Edmonton Eskimos in 1985, 1986 and in 1991 as their special teams coach. He was also a defensive co-ordinator for Rutgers, Arkansas State and Edinboro University. Before Calgary, Creehan was an assistant coach at West Point as Army's special teams coach.