Canadian Football League

Monday, July 10, 2006

Lancaster back as Canadian Football League Head Coach

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats, the CFL's only winless team, have fired head coach Greg Marshall.
Ron Lancaster, the Ticats' senior director of football operations, will assume the role of interim head coach. Hamilton has lost its first four games of the season and is last in the East Division.
Marshall became the Ticats's head coach in 2004 after a successful tenure at McMaster University. He was named the CFL's coach of the year after guiding Hamilton to a 9-8-1 record in his rookie season. But the club was 5-13-0 last season.
Hamilton was the CFL's busiest team in the off-season trading for the likes of quarterback Jason Maas, receiver-kick returner Corey Holmes and receiver Kwame Cavil while dipping into free agency to sign running back Josh Ranek.
"This was a very, very tough decision," owner Bob Young said in a statement. "His (Marshall's) contributions to the organization, the Hamilton community and to our fans can not be understated.
"I have great admiration and respect for Greg but after careful consideration it was in the best interest of the organization to make a change. Ron and assistant head coach Joe Paopao will have a full-set of resources to improve our success on the field."
This will mark Lancaster's second stint as Ticats head coach. He served in that capacity from 1998 to 2003, shifting into the front office when Marshall was hired.
Lancaster has twice been named the CFL's coach of the year and has won two Grey Cups (1993 with Edmonton, '99 with Hamilton). Lancaster's 138 career victories are fourth most in league history and under Lancaster the Ticats finished with a record of .500 or better five times in six years.
"I hope my years of experience can help deliver the leadership necessary to help benefit the club in its current situation," said Lancaster. "I will assume the position of head coach for the remainder of the season or step down as soon as the right person is found."
General manager Rob Katz said he will immediately begin looking for a full-time head coach.
"No one in our organization is happy with how the season has started and we all accept responsibility for our performance," he said. "We're fortunate to have a guy that's as qualified and respected as Ron Lancaster.
"We feel his extensive knowledge of the current team and the ability to work closely with Joe (Paopao) and Kavis (Reed) will get this football team back on track competing for a playoff spot while we look for a long-term solution."


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