Taaffe: I am at Hamilton

Hamilton, Ontario – Hamilton Tiger-Cats officials released the following statements today regarding the status of head coach Charlie Taaffe with the team.

"I am the Head Coach of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, I was yesterday, I am today and I'm hopefully going to be for years to come," said Taaffe. "Despite untruthful reports that surfaced Thursday of this week that I had accepted a job West Virginia University, I thought it was important to let all the Tiger-Cats fans know the only place I want to coach is in Hamilton. We started something last year that obviously was disappointing, but I'm fully committed to working as hard as possible for the great fans of Hamilton to get this thing turned in the right direction".

Taaffe continued, "It's always a compliment when a top U.S. college program coming off a BCS bowl game win wants to discuss a possible opportunity, but despite the speculation and conjecture over the last few days, it's important for everybody involved with the Ticats and our great fans to know that I never once asked or entered into conversation with anybody about whether or not it was possible to be released from my contract. I have never indicated to anybody that I did not want to continue to be the head coach of the Tiger-Cats nor have I ever applied for or indicated to any other team or college program that I was looking for anything else."

"I believe this organization is a vastly different one from the one I joined just over a year ago. I have an excellent relationship with our owner Bob Young and our President Scott Mitchell. I am now beginning to forge the same type of relationship with our new general manager Bob O'Billovich, and I think with Bob in place, as well as Dan Rambo and our new coaching staff, this team has a great chance of achieving what we all want, which is to build a Grey Cup contender. I truly want to be the head coach here as that happens. "

"I want to thank all the fans for their support and let them know how much the staff and the players appreciate that. We can't build a Grey Cup team without that remarkable support."

General Manager Bob O'Billovich stated, "Sometimes you can't control what's out there in the media, nor can you prevent other people from thinking highly of the people you have on your team or on your staff. From the first meeting I had with Charlie, I had a very good feeling about the opportunity ahead with him, and that's obviously the way I feel today. People in football understand he's a very good football coach, and at this point in my career, nothing surprises me anymore."

"I said it before Christmas and I'll repeat it now, we're very happy to have Charlie as our head coach and I'm glad to just to put this thing behind us and move forward with the most important thing, which is to build a winning football team for the fans of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. I'm looking forward to seeing Charlie down here in Houston this week to help evaluate the players at the East West Shrine Game"

President Scott Mitchell added, "I feel very good about the state of our front office and coaching staff. I have total confidence with Bob O'Billovich and Charlie Taaffe running our football operations, that they will help turn this franchise into a winning one, and I'm not surprised to hear about other programs or teams who think highly of Charlie, just like the Ticats do."

"I have total faith in Charlie's commitment to our franchise, and never once did Charlie, his agent or West Virginia approach me about any possibly situation that would entail Charlie not being the head coach in Hamilton. We have great fans in Hamilton, and they should know as I do, that Hamilton is the only place that Charlie Taaffe wants to be coaching."

West Virginia will continue its search.

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