Taman moving on without Austin

Riders close to hiring new head coach
Reported by Jamie Nye
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The Saskatchewan Roughriders can move on with their head coaching search without Kent Austin.

Austin has made it known to the team he will not return to the Canadian Football League after weeks of leaving Riders General Manager Brendan Taman waiting to see if Austin is in the mix.

"It sure helps the process out a lot," says Taman, who believes he'll have a new coach in place before Christmas.

"We were going down two roads at the same time with one process dealing with seven or eight other people. The other process was obviously Kent, who was sort of in his own world, per se, in the way we were doing things with him."

Taman and Assistant General Manager Jeremy O'Day will now go through their notes and compile a list of two or three candidates to advance to the final interview stage.

Taman says those interviews will only need to take about a half an hour for him to finalize the information they deem vital in a new head coach.

"We want to find out in detail and at length how much this job means to these individuals and why they want it."

And as a common theme in this process is the fact Taman believes the head coach will be as good as the staff he hires.

"Who they want to bring as a staff person and who they expect to bring. That's two different things and have those changed over the last two or three weeks and it easily could have with some hirings being done around the league."

Taman says reports are accurate the Riders held formal interviews with six candidates.

He would not confirm who those six are but they are believed to be Richie Hall, Craig and Dave Dickenson, Corey Chamblin, Tim Burke and Mike O'Shea.

Taman said it was interesting to have to interview brothers for the same job.

"It was pretty obvious that Craig has been a coach a lot longer than Dave. This is Dave's (third) year, while it was Craig's ... well I don't know what year it was for him but you could tell with being in San Diego and Oakland he's got a little more expertise in the coaching field. That isn't a knock on Dave but you can tell (Craig) has been around coaching more."

Taman says though Dave Dickenson was the only coach with an extensive offensive background, he believes that doesn't necessarily give him a distinct advantage above the other coaches.