Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Chronic Back Injury Forces Ticats Safety Barker to Announce Retirement: Injury Forces Ticats Safety Barker to Retire

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Chronic Back Injury Forces Ticats Safety Barker to Announce Retirement: Injury Forces Ticats Safety Barker to Retire

Article excerpt

HAMILTON - A chronic back injury has forced Hamilton Tiger-Cats safety Dylan Barker to retire.

"I would like to thank everyone involved with my CFL career, especially the Hamilton Tiger-Cats organization, for four great years that I will never forget," Barker said in a statement. "I couldn't have had better teammates, coaches, managers, and mentors, or played in front of better fans.

"When I was drafted four years ago, I envisioned having a healthy, long career in the CFL. Unfortunately, due to unforeseen injuries I can no longer continue my football career and will now pursue interests outside of football at the University of Saskatchewan. Again, I'd like to thank all of TigerTown for four of the most memorable years of my life."

Hamilton selected Barker, a native of Moose Jaw, Sask., first overall in the 2008 CFL Canadian college draft. The former Saskatchewan Huskies star missed the 2008 campaign with a leg injury but posted a CFL-record 37 special-teams tackles in 2009 while adding six tackles and an interception.

He started 13 of 17 regular-season games in 2010 before missing all of last year with a back injury. Barker, who will look now to become a dentist, registered 40 tackles, 51 special-teams tackles and four interceptions in 35 CFL contests.

"It's very unfortunate to see Dylan's promising football career end at such an early age," said Bob O'Billovich, Hamilton's vice-president of football operations. "During his time in Hamilton, he was a positive contributor on and off the field who represented the club with strong character.

"We wish him nothing but the best as he begins his new career.''

Meanwhile in Toronto, the Argonauts announced they're on the lookout for a new offensive co-ordinator.

When Scott Milanovich became Toronto's new head coach in December, one of his first moves was to hire Jonathan Himebauch as his offensive co-ordinator. But on Wednesday, the Argos announced Himebauch has accepted a coaching position with an NCAA school.

"When we signed Jonathan, we allowed him a window to pursue collegiate jobs," Milanovich said. "Jonathan found a lucrative position with potential for growth and we wish him continued success. …

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