Stubler takes the helm for Argonauts

Jeff CaspersenGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

TORONTO, Ontario – Richard Stubler’s first five days as head coach of the Canadian Football League’s Toronto Argonauts have been an absolute whirlwind.”It’s been a long few days, but it’s been fun,” the Glenwood Springs native said last Tuesday. “I’ve been on every TV show and radio show in the Toronto area at least once. I’ve run the gamut of all those things.”Stubler, whose late father, Nick, is a local legend after spending a number of years as either a coach or athletic director at Glenwood Springs High School, was introduced as the Argonauts’ head coach in a Thursday press conference.Since then, he’s been doing his best to settle in, amid all the media obligations that accompany his promotion from the team’s defensive coordinator to its head coach. That includes setting his staff.”I’ve been visiting with some of the staff guys, seeing who we’ll retain and not going to retain,” Stubler said. “I’ve also been visiting with some other people who we may end up hiring, and I’ve been talking to the players.”Stubler, who’s made his offseason home in Oklahoma in recent years, is also in the midst of a permanent move to Toronto. That’s where he was on Tuesday, Dec. 4. “This has been home the past few years,” he said of his Oklahoma digs. “I’ve had to move up there, and I’ll be back and forth for the time being. It used to be that I would be up there for a few days a month. Now it’s changing to where I’ll be down here a few days. It’s just the opposite.”Mike “Pinball” Clemons stepped down as head coach and into the Argonauts’ front office last week, leaving the path clear for Stubler to land his first head coaching gig. As the maestro of one of the CFL’s staunchest defenses, Stubler was Clemons’ logical replacement. Being a head coach was never an end-all, be-all for Stubler, who would have been coveted by other organizations had Toronto not promoted him. The Glenwood Springs native absolutely wanted the perfect fit.”It’s a great deal,” he said. “It’s a dream realized. You know, Toronto is a place I really like. I like the owners, like the players. I’ve built a pretty good defense and I have a great comfort level there. A lot of people take a job because everybody else got fired. I’m stepping up to being with a real good football team.”Stubler is taking over a team that made the CFL’s Eastern Conference championship game and was just a win away from going to a Grey Cup. The longtime assistant, who began his CFL coaching career back in 1983, has been part of four Grey Cup-title winning teams, and hopes to land Toronto its first trophy since 2004 and its 16th in franchise history.He’s actually hoping for a little more than just that.”I’d like to win another two or three rings,” he said with a chuckle. “I’m just happy they decided to do this for me. I’m excited.”

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