Dickenson, meeting with the media for the first time since succeeding John Hufnagel as coach, confirmed Tuesday that defensive co-ordinator Rich Stubler will not return next season. It's been reported Stubler will assume the same position with the CFL's Toronto Argonauts.
"We did have some change that we weren't expecting on our coaching staff,'' he said. "It was certainly nothing I had heard inklings of and got word of it late last week and it was confirmed yesterday. I really do like Stubes and I felt like this should have been a relationship we could have continued. He did a great job.''
Stubler spent two seasons as Calgary's defensive co-ordinator. The Stampeders reached the West Division final before falling to the eventual Grey Cup champion Edmonton Eskimos.
"He's the one that decided to leave,'' said Dickenson. "It certainly wasn't anything on our end, but I'm excited that we'll have people in place and it gives us an opportunity to either promote or find some other people to help our defensive team out.''
Should the Stamps decide to promote from within, Dickenson said current defensive line coach DeVone Claybrooks would be a candidate.
"It has to be the right fit for everybody, but I certainly love the way DeVone works,'' said Dickenson. "I thought he was a major part of our success already this past year.''
After working with Calgary's defensive line for the past four seasons, Claybrooks said he would jump at the chance to take on more responsibilities under Dickenson's direction.
"I've been on the defensive side of the ball and I've had all the opportunities to grow and be a defensive co-ordinator,'' said Claybrooks. "He does a good job at his craft and he puts a lot of time into it. He's very organized, very detailed and he'll put people in positions to be successful. Our job as assistants is just not to mess it up. I'm excited to have him as a leader. We'll follow him wherever he goes.''
Dickenson, who spent the past five seasons as Calgary's offensive co-ordinator, said he's up for whatever challenges lay ahead.
"Any time you're basically coming in in a winning program, the expectations are higher,'' he said. "That's fine with me. I'm more than happy to take that on. I think our coaches and our players like that. We want to and expect to be good.
"I'm OK with pressure. I've dealt with it my whole life. I'm ready to deal with it. I know that the job is a lot more fun when you're winning, so that's the plan.''
Although he will be calling the shots on the sidelines starting next season, Dickenson said he will still rely on input from Hufnagel when needed. Hufnagel spent eight seasons as head coach and will now concentrate on his duties as GM.
"I'm glad he's obviously sticking around as general manager,'' said Dickenson. "The guy is an outstanding coach and still will be. He's an invaluable resource that we can't do without at this stage.''
The Stampeders also have to decide whether to have Dickenson continue to serve as offensive co-ordinator in addition to his duties as head coach.
"That's all up in the air still,'' he said. "I'm certainly looking. There's some people that, if they were to come here, they'd need that title. Hopefully I wouldn't be too tough to work with.''