Higgins rewarded by Stampeders

The Calgary Stampeders rewarded Tom Higgins with a multi-year contract extension on Tuesday.

Details were not disclosed.

Higgins posted an 11-7 record and clinched a playoff berth in his first season as Stampeders head coach and vice-president of football operations.

Although Calgary fell 33-26 to the Edmonton Eskimos in the CFL West Division semifinal, it represented a quantum leap forward for a team which finished 4-14 under Matt Dunigan in 2004.

"We are very pleased that Tom has chosen to extend his relationship with the Stampeders football club," said Stampeders owner Ted Hellard. "Tom, his coordinators and their assistant coaches have had a significant impact on a successful 2005 season."

Higgins was hired Jan. 13 and, at the time, the plan was to let him coach one season and promote defensive co-ordinator Denny Creehan to head coach by 2006.

But in the wake of Calgary's first post-season appearance since winning the 2001 Grey Cup, it seems the plan is to stick with Higgins.

"I'm extremely excited and thrilled to have the opportunity to be on the sidelines in the future," he stated. "I look forward to the 2006 season and building on all of the good things we were able to accomplish this past year."

Higgins resurfaced in Calgary two months after stepping down as head coach of the Edmonton Eskimos, with whom he won the Grey Cup and CFL coach of the year honours in 2003.

Higgins initially joined Edmonton as assistant general manager in 1993 and was promoted to GM and chief operating officer for four years before becoming head coach in June 2001.

He went 44-28-0-1 as head coach of the Eskimos.

with files from CP Online