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B.C. Lions sign head coach Mike Benevides contract extension through '16 season

VANCOUVER - The B.C. Lions signed head coach Mike Benevides to a contract extension through the 2016 season Tuesday.

Benevides, a 46-year-old Toronto native, is entering his third season as Lions head coach since replacing Wally Buono following the team's '11 Grey Cup victory. Benevides has a 24-12 overall record but is 16-2 at home.

"Mike continues to grow as both a coach and a leader and he's earned this extension," Buono, now the Lions' GM and vice-president of football operations, said in a statement. "He has led our team to winning regular-season records and consecutive playoff appearances while putting his own unique stamp on the team and his staff."

Benevides began his CFL coaching career 15 years ago but has spent the past 10 seasons with B.C. He served as the club's special-teams co-ordinator and linebackers coach from 2003 to 2007 before being promoted to defensive coordinator in '08, a post he held until being named head coach.

"I am honoured and grateful for the support I have received from our owner David Braley, our president and CEO Dennis Skulsky and of course Wally Buono along with the coaching staff and players," said Benevides. "The ultimate goal is to win a championship and to say that anything has truly been accomplished yet would not be accurate.

"I am very proud of the men we have assembled to try and bring home the Grey Cup this year and I will continue to make that our No. 1 goal each and every day I have the privilege of leading these outstanding men."

B.C. kicks off the '14 season hosting the Edmonton Eskimos on Saturday.

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