Calgary Colts hire former CFL head coach Tom Higgins as defensive coordinator


The Calgary Colts have hired former CFL head coach Tom Higgins as defensive coordinator for the 2023 season.

After a standout career at North Carolina State University as a linebacker, Higgins played professional football for the Calgary Stampeders, Saskatchewan Roughriders, and Buffalo Bills.

Following his playing days, he moved on to a pro coaching career becoming a two-time CFL Coach of the Year and Grey Cup champion. During his career, Higgins spent many years in dual coaching and administrative roles as an assistant general manager and GM for the Edmonton Elks. He also spent five years working directly for the CFL as the league’s director of officiating.

“There are only a handful of people in the world that have similar credentials to coach Higgins in the sport of football,” Calgary Colts president Paul Dimini said in a statement. “The fact that head coach Greg DeLaval has been able to secure such a talented leader in coach Higgins is a major boost to the entire Calgary Colts organization.”

Chairman of the board, Brent Allardyce, believes Higgins’ presence will make an immediate impact.

“Our football program has moved forward dramatically overnight. We knew coach DeLaval would start building out his roster quickly and the hiring of coach Higgins highlights his and our intentions of turning this football club into a renowned program.”

Throughout his CFL head coaching career, Higgins accumulated an 84-67-1 record (.556 winning rate) while winning three division titles with the green and gold and capturing the 2003 Grey Cup title in Edmonton.

Higgins began his coaching career with the University of Calgary as their defensive coordinator in 1982, helping the Dinos capture the 1983 Vanier Cup. He returned to the Calgary Dinos in 2016, serving as their defensive coordinator. In 2021 and 2022, Higgins was the University of Alberta’s defensive coordinator.

The Colts are part of the Canadian Junior Football League and play within the Prairie Football Conference. Founded in 1965, the Colts have won two National Championships in 1989 and 1990. Most recently, the Colts finished the 2022 season in fifth place in the PFC with a 2-6 win-loss record.