TORONTO -- After building a Grey Cup winning squad, general manager Jim Barker has been rewarded with a three-year contract extension with the Toronto Argonauts.
“Jim Barker has done a tremendous job of putting our football team in position to be a perennial winner", said Argonauts Executive Chairman & CEO, Chris Rudge. "Creating this kind of long-term stability at the executive level infuses confidence into the entire organization and allows us, as a team, to execute on our plans for the future. Jim’s vision for this Club is exciting and I know that our fans will share in my enthusiasm for today’s announcement.”
Following the 2011 season, Barker focused fully on the General Manager position and began restructuring the club’s football operations. He started by hiring CFL Coach of the Year Finalist, Scott Milanovich, then, on December 12, 2011, Barker pulled off arguably the biggest trade in the 140-year history of the Club. In a blockbuster deal, he acquired future hall of fame QB Ricky Ray from the Edmonton Eskimos. Milanovich and Ray returned exciting offensive football to the city and led the Argos to three impressive playoff victories en route to hosting, and hoisting, the 100th Grey Cup championship at Rogers Centre – the 16th title in Argonauts history.
“I am very excited to sign this extension and remain in Toronto for the foreseeable future", Barker said. "As an organization, we experienced a lot of success this past season, and I believe 2012 was just the beginning of something special. Senator Braley and Chris Rudge have done an outstanding job laying a strong foundation and creating continuity within this franchise, on both the football and business operations side. We have the right coaches and staff in place to continue to build on our early achievements and ensure our fans will be proud of this team for many years to come.”
Before the start of the 2012 season, Barker continued to refine the roster by bringing CFL All-Star’s DT Armond Armstead and DB Pat Watkins, along with impactful players such as WR Dontrelle Inman and the prolific linebacker duo of LB Brandon Isaac and Argos 2012 Outstanding Defensive Player, LB Marcus Ball to the Argonauts.
Barker returned to the Toronto Argonauts as head coach in 2010, for the second time including 1999, and transformed a team that had won seven games in two years and led them back to the playoffs with 10 wins, including a berth in the 2010 Eastern Division Final. He was named CFL Coach of the Year for his efforts. He accepted the role of Head Coach & General Manager before the 2011 season and, following that year, he hired Scott Milanovich as the Club’s 42nd head coach.
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