Canadian Football League

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Taaffe still in Canadian Football League

HAMILTON - Charlie Taaffe is still the Hamilton Tiger-Cats head coach, at least for now.
Mike Montoro, the director of football communications at the University of West Virginia, denied published reports Thursday that Taaffe had been hired as the school's offensive co-ordinator and quarterbacks coach. Two Charleston-based newspapers reported Thursday that Taaffe had joined the Mountaineers coaching staff.
"No, not at all . . . and it would come from me," Montoro told The Canadian Press. "It hasn't officially been released and no one has officially told me he's in the running for (offensive co-ordinator's job)."
Bill Stewart was named West Virginia's new head coach last week, replacing Rich Rodriguez, who left to become the head football coach at Michigan.
Stewart served as West Virginia's interim head coach for its 48-28 win over No. 3 Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl. But he must now form his own coaching staff as many of the assistants who served under Rodriguez have followed him to Michigan.
Taaffe was Hamilton's head coach last year, leading the team to a 3-15 record. Taaffe joined the Ticats prior to the 2007 season, signing a three-year deal with the CFL club.
The move would also be a demotion of sorts for Taaffe, who reportedly earns US$300,000 as the Ticats coach and would likely make between $150,000 and $300,000 as an offensive co-ordinator in the NCAA.
Also, a CFL source requesting anonymity said Thursday that Taaffe's deal with Hamilton doesn't contain an escape clause that would allow him to leave for another job. Taaffe could only leave Steeltown if he was fired or given permission to do so by the club's front office.
Neither Bob O'Billovich, the Ticats' general manager, nor president Scott Mitchell immediately returned telephone messages.
The timing of the reports was peculiar because the Ticats had just recently hired Marcel Bellefeuille and Denny Creehan as their new offensive and defensive co-ordinators.
Also, O'Billovich's first order of business after being hired as Ticats GM last month was to retain Taaffe, twice named the CFL's coach of the year with Montreal before leaving after the 2000 season to become the offensive co-ordinator at the University of Maryland.