Argos defensive coach Tim Burke resigns, Casey...
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May 15, 2015  |  Vote 0    0

Argos defensive coach Tim Burke resigns, Casey Creehan to step in

Burke spent the 2013 season as head coach of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers

OurWindsor.Ca

Toronto Argonauts’ defensive co-ordinator Tim Burke has resigned for personal reasons.

“I will not go into detail on the nature of things,” head coach Scott Milanovich said Friday in a conference call. “What I can tell you is that to the best of my knowledge Tim is in good health.”

The team announced that Burke will be replaced immediately by Casey Creehan, who was the team’s defensive line coach going into the season.

Milanovich said he received the news Thursday from Burke in a telephone call.

Asked for his reaction, Milanovich said, “disappointment,” but added this decision “wasn’t completely out of the blue” and that the team already had a succession plan in place.

“This sounds very late to you all,” the coach added, “but there have been portions of this happening for a little while. Casey is not behind like you think he is.”

Burke did not attend the major coaches meeting surrounding the CFL combine in Toronto in March and Creehan sat in on the meetings as the de facto defensive co-ordinator.

“That (Burke’s absence) was with my full knowledge and full blessing,” Milanovich said.

However, Burke did attend the mini-camp for rookies in Florida recently.

Creehan came to the Argos last season to be the linebackers coach. In 2013, he served as the defensive co-ordinator and linebackers coach of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. In 2012, he was defensive co-ordinator of the Hamilton Ticats.

The plan is that the Argos will hire a defensive backs coach to specialize in the secondary, while Creehan will keep his hands on the defensive line in the same way as Milanovich, as the head coach, will be involved with the quarterbacks.

Burke, who spent the 2013 season as head coach of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, came to the Argos last season as a replacement for Chris Jones, who left the Argonauts to become head coach of the Edmonton Eskimos.

Only four coaches remain from last season’s 10-man staff: Milanovich, offensive co-ordinator Marcus Brady, running backs coach Anthony Ierullo, and Creehan.

The six who left are: Burke, special teams co-ordinator Jim Daley, receivers coach Jason Maas, offensive line coach Bryan Chiu, defensive line coach Will Plemons and defensive and special teams assistant Eddie Brown.

In December, Maas accepted a position as Ottawa Redblacks’ offensive co-ordinator and Chiu was named offensive line coach for the Redblacks. Then in January, Daley turned down an offer to return to the Argos for personal and health reasons.

The contracts for Brown and Plemons were not renewed.

Milanovich said it’s a challenge to deal with such a big coaching turnover, but it’s a fact of life in the CFL.

“You’re never looking for it,” he said. “Good coaches are always going to be in demand, so must always have a plan to replace them. Unfortunately, that’s the nature of this business. Usually, you don’t have to do it right prior to the season, but we did have a plan of succession.”

Jaime Elizondo has replaced Maas as the receivers’ coach and Jonathan Himebauch has taken over for Chiu as the Argos’ offensive line coach.

Scott Downing is the new special teams co-ordinator, and Creehan replaced Plemons as defensive line coach.

The 11-man coaching staff also includes three new positions for 2015: Peter Kucharcek is the inside linebackers coach, D.J. Wingate is the outside linebackers coach and Mike Preston is assistant offensive line coach and assistant special teams coach.

Toronto missed the playoffs last season after finishing third in the East Division with an 8-10 record.

Toronto Star

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