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Tom Higgins, right, has spent 26 years in the CFL as a player, coach and personnel director. ((Troy Fleece/Canadian Press))

After sharing the field for years with Canadian Football League game officials, former coach Tom Higgins will now oversee their work from the press box.

Higgins, who was fired as Calgary Stampeders coach and vice-president of football operations last Nov. 15, will officially become the CFL's director of officiating on April 28.

Higgins takes over from George Black, who will remain with the league as senior adviser of football operations.

A two-time CFL coach of the year, Higgins will be responsible for the recruitment, training, development and evaluation of the CFL's officiating staff.

Calgary finished with a 7-10-1 record this season under Higgins, who joined the Stampeders before the 2005 campaign and was named coach of the year that season after guiding the team to an 11-7 mark after three losing seasons.

He also won the award in 2004 as bench boss of the Edmonton Eskimos after leading them to a Grey Cup title in 2003.

Higgins has spent 26 years in the CFL as a player, coach and personnel director.

With files from the Canadian Press