Stallions may lose CFL's top coach in Montreal move Matthews could leave to take Argonauts job

February 02, 1996|By Gary Lambrecht | Gary Lambrecht,SUN STAFF

The Baltimore Stallions, on the verge of moving to a new Canadian Football League home in Montreal, could be accompanied by a new coach next season.

Coach Don Matthews, who has a year left on his contract with the Stallions and yesterday easily won his second straight CFL Coach of the Year award, could end up coaching the Toronto Argonauts.

Matthews, who did not return phone calls yesterday, has talked periodically with Argonauts officials since guiding the Stallions to the Grey Cup title last fall.

Stallions owner Jim Speros, reached in Edmonton, Alberta -- where the CFL Board of Governors is expected to approve his team's move to Montreal today -- says he intends to keep Matthews.

If the move is approved, Speros said he expects to sign a five-year lease with two five-year options with Olympic Stadium's Installations Board by Tuesday.

Sources said that Matthews has expressed reservations about going to Montreal, and that Speros is considering not picking up his option and letting him jump to Toronto for compensation. Sources also said that Calgary coach and general manager Wally Buono and Dave Ritchie, recently fired by the British Columbia Lions, are possible replacements.

Ritchie led the Lions to a Grey Cup win over Baltimore in 1994.

"In two years, Don Matthews did everything I could ask of a coach. I would think Jim Speros has got to sharpen his pencil and look at extending his contract," Speros said. "I'll be talking to Don this weekend after we know where we're going, and Don will tell me whether or not he wants to coach here. I'm not going to twist his arm.

"I'm going to have a coaching staff in Montreal that wants to coach in Montreal. I want him to be my head coach, and I want him to keep his staff."

The Stallions' staff has undergone significant changes. Steve Buratto resigned last month as offensive coordinator, electing to leave coaching. Defensive line coach Marty Long left last month to assume the same position at the University of Arizona.

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