Dave Dickenson sees brother Craig as ‘big asset’ for Calgary after eight-year run with Riders

Courtesy: Calgary Stampeders

The Calgary Stampeders recently added Craig Dickenson into the fold as a senior consultant as he’ll look to help his brother, head coach and general manager Dave Dickenson, get the team back on track in 2024.

“He’s going to help us in the scouting world, he’s going to be going to NFL camps, he’s going to be kind of pre-scouting opponents. We’ll see how much he’s in Calgary,” said Dave from the CFL Combine in Winnipeg.

“He’s worked with (special teams coordinator and assistant head coach) Mark Kilam in the past, good special teams coach, but he’s also done a lot more than that — he’s been a head coach. I think there’s some things I can bounce off him and obviously I have that built-in trust factor with him, so I think he’ll certainly be a big asset.”

Craig spent the past eight years with the Saskatchewan Roughriders, including four seasons as the team’s head coach. He led the club to back-to-back appearances in the West Final but wasn’t retained after Saskatchewan squandered strong starts in both of the last two seasons to miss the playoffs.

Dave, who was born 16 months after Craig in Great Falls, Mont., took his time approaching his brother following what was presumably an emotional departure from Riderville. He’s hopeful that Craig’s tenure with the Stampeders can help him stay close to the game while also serving as a chance to take on a reduced workload after coaching in the CFL’s most intense market for almost a decade.

“I just let him kind of have some air and let him breathe and I said, ‘Hey, why don’t we touch base later on?’ We certainly were in contact but it kind of came about here in March. I wanted to make sure Craig felt comfortable committing to something,” said Dave.

“He likes being around the game and being around the guys, he knows our staff, but I also understand I’m going to let him maybe not have to put the 16, 18-hour days in and let him kind of catch his breath. I am happy with getting him on board.”

The Stampeders are coming off a difficult season during which they managed only six regular season wins — half the number from the previous year. The club still made the playoffs as the third seed in the West Division, though they lost the West Semi-Final against the B.C. Lions for a second consecutive season.

Calgary made only two other changes to their coaching staff this off-season, adding André Bolduc as running backs coach and Ryan Williams as quarterbacks coach, replacing Marc Mueller, who is now the offensive coordinator of the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

John Hodge is a Canadian football reporter based in Winnipeg.