Canadian Football League

Friday, January 21, 2005

Canadian Football League Coach Of The Year Award

2004 Coach of the Year Finalists Announced
Toronto, Ontario - The Canadian Football League announced today the three finalists for the 2004 CFL Coach of the Year (Annis Stukus award). The finalists were selected by 33 members of the Football Reporters of Canada (FRC). The winner will be announced at the Coach of the Year lunch on February 24, 2005 in Winnipeg. Wally Buono and the BC Lions finished 2004 at the top of the West Division and earned a spot in the 92nd Grey Cup Championship. After a successful 11-7 campaign in 2003, Buono led the Lions to an impressive 13-5 record, which included an eight-game winning streak mid-season. The Lions finished the 2004 season in dramatic fashion, with a last second win over the Saskatchewan Roughriders, who they faced again in the West Division Championship. Under Buono's guidance, BC emerged victorious again in overtime in front of a home crowd of more than 55,000 fans. Despite losing to the Toronto Argonauts in Ottawa at the Grey Cup, BC fielded some of 2004's most dominating players, including Rogers CFL Outstanding Player of the Year quarterback Casey Printers, Rogers CFL and Grey Cup Outstanding Canadian slotback Jason Clermont, Geroy Simon and Antonio Warren. Buono's Lions also led the League in numerous offensive categories including most points scored (544), most TDs scored (63), most first downs (429) and most yards total offence (7,726). Mike 'Pinball' Clemons is the heart of the Toronto Argonauts. After leading Toronto to a 10-7-1 season, Clemons noted that the tougher battle was ahead - first facing Golden Horseshoe rival Hamilton Tiger-Cats, and then the East Division leading Montreal Alouettes. Clemons' Argos moved past the Ticats to travel to Montreal for the third time in three years for the WestJet East Division Championship. Coach Clemons said the Argos were ready - mentally and physically - to take on the Alouettes for the all-important Grey Cup berth. He was correct. The Argos defence successfully shut down Als QB Anthony Calvillo, bringing the Montreal offence to a halt and allowing Toronto to claim a 26-18 victory. Clemons and the Argos advanced to Ottawa against a heavily favoured BC Lions team, but put the right defensive mix together once again to secure a 27-19 win and wrap their hands around Lord Grey's cup. Clemons hoisted his fourth Grey Cup, his first as a Head Coach, above his head. Greg Marshall was named Head Coach of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, making him the first Canadian Head Coach in the club's history and also the first coach to jump from the Canadian university football ranks to the CFL. At McMaster University, the Marauders football team had four Yates Cup victories during Marshall's seven-year tenure, success he continued at the professional level. After posting a 1-17 record in 2003, the Ticats finished 2004 with a record of 9-8-1 under Marshall's direction - their first winning season in three years. The Tiger-Cats went on to face the Argonauts in the East Division semi-final, losing 24-6.


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