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February 22, 2000

Huard loves his Maine men

By Perry Lefko

The John Huard society has enlisted some new members.

Huard, the Argos' enigmatic new coach, yesterday unveiled his assistants, most of whom lack experience coaching in the Canadian Football League.

Only receivers coach Jeff Fairholm, the lone holdover from Jim Barker's 1999 staff, has experience -- albeit only one year.

Huard has recruited assistants who, for the most part, are familiar with his methodology and his background.

"We have a nice blend of young, bright coaches who have come out of very successful programs and know how to take this team to a higher level," Huard said.

Defensive backfield coach Chris Hadley, 32, and quarterback coach Paul LaPolice, 30, have worked previously with Huard at Maine Maritime Academy.

Defensive line coach Walter Highsmith, 57, whose son, Alonzo, played for the Houston Oilers, is a well-travelled and respected former pro player who was on teams with Huard in Montreal and Denver. He had been retired after coaching at the high school level when he was contacted to join Huard's staff.

GUEST COACH

"I thought I was getting out of it, but I'm getting back in," Highsmith said.

Offensive line coach Ray Zaremba, 47, was a guest coach with the Argos in 1997 and with the Montreal Alouettes last year. The Mississauga resident has assistant coaching experience at the University of Toronto and calls his first full-time CFL coaching job "an honour."

Rounding out Huard's staff is 30-year-old special teams/linebacker coach Darrell Pasquale, whose father, Larry, was a candidate to be the Argos head coach.

Huard plans to assume the defensive and offensive co-ordinating duties.