Buono back to the sidelines as Lions dump Tedford


B.C. Lions general manager Wally Buono will return to the sidelines next season.

Buono will replace Jeff Tedford as head coach, the CFL team said in a release. Tedford resigned Wednesday after guiding the Lions to a 7-11 record in his first season.

“After much consideration, I have elected to exercise an option in my contract and will resign as head coach of the B.C. Lions in order to pursue other opportunities in college football,” Tedford said in a statement. “I want to thank Lions ownership, management, coaching staff and players and in particular Lions fans for the opportunity and privilege of serving as head coach this past year.

“The team displayed great fortitude in overcoming several obstacles this season and the future is very bright for these young Lions. I wish the Lions family the very best and long and continued success.”

Buono, who also serves as vice-president of football operations, was scheduled to speak with the media later Wednesday at the club’s practice facility.

“After consulting with (owner) David Braley and (president) Dennis Skulsky, we believe the best course of action for the club at this time is for me to return as head coach,” Buono said in a release.

Buono has spent 13 seasons as GM of the team and has 22 years of coaching experience with B.C. and Calgary. The four-time coach of the year most recently coached in 2011, when he led the Lions to a Grey Cup victory.

He has won five Grey Cups as a coach and owns a regular-season coaching record of 254-154-3. Buono was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame last year.

Tedford, who spent six seasons in the CFL as a quarterback in the 1980s, started his coaching career in 1989 as an offensive assistant with the Stampeders.

– CP