The director of officiating of the Canadian Football League would consider the job of general manager of the Ottawa expansion franchise scheduled to take field in 2014 if offered the position.
Tom Higgins, who has been a Grey Cup-winning GM/coach in the CFL and also has experience as a chief operating officer, told sportsnet.ca on Friday he would never want to pass up an opportunity that might allow him to work again with a team.
"It’s a clean canvas," he said of the Ottawa situation. "If presented I’d absolutely take a look at it. "It’s always a possibility because I am looking for that opportunity, if it’s the right opportunity, to get back with a club."
Rick Worman, who is being employed by the Ottawa franchise in a player-personnel capacity, told sportsnet.ca he would like to become a head coach again. He did it in the Arena League, coaching Ricky Ray, who went on to join the Edmonton Eskimos and quarterbacked them to the Grey Cup in his rookie year in 2002. He subsequently won two Grey Cups with the Eskimos, named the Most Valuable Player in one of those wins, and will be hoping to record his third win, this time playing for Toronto Argonauts, who play the Calgary Stampeders at the Rogers Centre in Sunday’s 100th edition of the game.
Worman and Higgins have a long history going back to their days in Calgary. Worman was a quarterback with the Stamps from 1986-89 and ’90 when Higgins was a member of the coaching staff. When Higgins became the head with Edmonton starting in 2001, Worman recommended the Eskimos sign Ray the following year. Worman later became a member of the coaching staff.
"You did a nice job putting the pieces together," Higgins said of the link with Worman. "Sure, anything is possible, but I’ve been there before where it’s somebody else’s opinion that is going to be making the decision…There’s a lot of work that has to be done before I can even answer that question."
Some names have already filtered out as possible candidates, including Montreal Alouettes’ assistant GM Marcel Desjardins, who had a stint as GM with Hamilton.
It has been suggested that the Ottawa franchise may want someone bilingual to appeal to the both the English and French audiences. CFL commissioner Mark Cohon addressed that topic on Friday in his annual state of the league address, but also noted the most important thing is for the franchise to find the right person who can best do the job.
The Ottawa franchise is expected to appoint a GM sometime early in the new year.