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Roughriders agree to one-year extension with CEO and president Jim Hopson

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REGINA - The Saskatchewan Roughriders have agreed to a one-year contract extension with president and CEO Jim Hopson.

Hopson joined the Roughriders as their first CEO in 2005. He will remain with the CFL club into 2015.

"This started about a year ago between the board and Jim," said Roger Brandvold, the Riders' chairman of the board. "We spent a fair bit of time talking about the future of Saskatchewan Roughriders and where we need to be.

"When I reflect on some of the successes Jim has had, it certainly enabled us to move forward in what we plan to do. He's assembled a tremendous group of individuals . . . but he's allowed them to grow and he's allowed them to play a critical role in the future of the Saskatchewan Roughriders and where we are today. On top of all that, he's played a tremendous role in who we are and how we continue to grow this organization."

During Hopson's tenure, the Riders have advanced to the Grey Cup four times, winning in '07 and last year. The franchise has also recorded record profits under Hopson.

Hopson's extension is the latest this off-season for the defending Grey Cup champions, who signed head coach Corey Chamblin, GM Brendan Taman and quarterback Darian Durant to new deals before coming to terms with their top executive.

A former Regina Rams junior player, Hopson was an offensive lineman with the Riders from 1973 to '76. He retired after Saskatchewan's heart-breaking 23-20 Grey Cup loss to Ottawa — the Rough Riders won on Tony Gabriel's 24-yard TD grab with 20 seconds remaining — for a full-time career in education.

Hopson graduated from the University of Regina with a degree in education and earned a masters degree from the University of Oregon.

Brandvold said the CFL club will search for Hopson's successor ahead of the completion of the Riders' new stadium, which is slated to open in 2017. Brandvold said it was Hopson's decision that the franchise have a new top executive in place once the facility is completed.

"The transition to the new stadium is going to be a significant one and one that has to be well managed and one that has to be very much committed to by the CEO," Brandvold said. "And while Jim has played a very critical role in getting us to where we are today in this new stadium, it's one that he felt maybe wouldn't fit into his schedule.

"I respect Jim's decision."

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