Buono not thinking about role of B.C. Lions' president, CEO

 

 
 
 
 
B.C. Lions president and CEO Dennis Skulsky watches from the sideline at BC Place Stadium.
 

B.C. Lions president and CEO Dennis Skulsky watches from the sideline at BC Place Stadium.

Photograph by: DARRYL DYCK, THE CANADIAN PRESS

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VANCOUVER — Although Wally Buono considers it “a compliment” to have his name mentioned in connection with the soon-to-be vacant position of president and CEO of the B.C. Lions, he said Monday he isn’t looking beyond his current title as head coach and general manager.

“David (Braley) and Dennis (Skulsky) discussed with me the best direction going forward,” Buono said. “Whether it proves to be right or wrong, they believed I needed to step back into coaching to start the team going in the right direction. It’s a tremendous challenge. I have a lot on my plate. I’ll leave it at that.”

Announcing a contract extension for the Lions GM — who re-assumed the title of head coach after four years away following the departure of Jeff Tedford — will be one of the final acts in his current role for the 61-year-old Skulsky. He and Buono began discussions on a contract extension into 2018 last year. An official announcement on Buono’s revised pact is expected this week.

Skulsky said he is stepping down April 1 as president and CEO to take on a less demanding role as the vice-chairman of the CFL team. He will continue to represent the Lions in the community and on league business in “semi-retirement” from the post he has held since May 1, 2010.

Braley, meanwhile, squelched speculation that Skulsky’s reduced role precedes a sale of the Lions to another party, who would want the position kept open before choosing their own president and CEO.

“Absolutely not. It’s a personal matter,” said the Lions chairman. “We’ve created a position for Dennis that did not exist before. If he wants to retire, I told him he should do it in steps.”

Following the death of Bob Ackles as team president in July 2008, Braley waited two years before announcing Skulsky as his successor. The Lions chairman said he approached Skulsky, even though he didn’t apply for the job, and spent the better part of a year grooming him for the position.

“It’ll take time (to find a replacement),” Braley said. “I’m in no hurry to fill the job. After Glen Ringdal (Lions president from 1997-2001) moved on, it took a year and a bit before we named another. I want to find the right person.”

mbeamish@postmedia.com

Twitter.com/sixbeamers

 
 
 
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B.C. Lions president and CEO Dennis Skulsky watches from the sideline at BC Place Stadium.
 

B.C. Lions president and CEO Dennis Skulsky watches from the sideline at BC Place Stadium.

Photograph by: DARRYL DYCK, THE CANADIAN PRESS

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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