Gateway Gazette

Pro football veteran appointed as Dinos interim head coach

Steve Buratto takes helm as national search begins to replace Blake Nill

Steve Buratto, who worked as the Dinos' offensive line coach for the past two seasons, has more than 30 years of experience coaching in the Canadian Football League. Photo by David Moll
Steve Buratto, who worked as the Dinos’ offensive line coach for the past two seasons, has more than 30 years of experience coaching in the Canadian Football League. Photo by David Moll

Veteran Canadian Football League coach Steve Buratto has been named as the interim leader of the Dinos football program, the University of Calgary announced Friday.

Buratto, who has spent the last two seasons as offensive line coach for the Dinos, will serve as interim head coach while the program searches for a successor to Blake Nill, who resigned Monday after nine seasons.

“We are fortunate to have had a coach with such an impressive resume and history in the game as part of our program for the last two seasons, and Steve was the logical choice to serve in this interim capacity for us,” said Ron Wuotila, director of athletics. “He knows our players and our program, and he will provide the continuity and stability the team needs as we conduct our search for the next head coach.”

Widely respected throughout the game, Buratto has more than three decades of experience in the CFL. He was head coach of the Calgary Stampeders in the mid-1980s and went on to win the 88th Grey Cup as head coach of the B.C. Lions in 2000, among several other stops around the league. His most recent professional appointment was as offensive line coach with the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

Buratto joined the Dinos prior to the 2013 season in the same position. In 2014, he served as acting head coach for one game, a 66-5 win over UBC.

Greg Vavra will work alongside Buratto to guide administrative, recruiting, and other duties. The 1983 Hec Crighton Trophy winner who led the Dinos to their first Vanier Cup title that season, Vavra has been associated with the Dinos for 35 years and serves as president of the Fifth Quarter, the program’s alumni association.

A national search for the team’s next head coach is underway.

(University of Calgary)

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