VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – The BC Lions will make it official on Tuesday.  General Manager Wally Buono has decided to promote defensive coordinator Mike Benevides to coach the team, News1130 Sports has learned.

Buono stepped down as coach following the club’s 2011 Grey Cup victory.

The news conference would have been held today, but Benevides has the flu.  The 23-year coaching veteran joined the Lions in 2003 and has just completed his ninth season in Vancouver, his fourth as the team defensive coordinator.

“It was Benevides’ upside that was the number one reason to hire him,” said Buono, who completed the hiring last Friday. 

Benevides, a Toronto native won his first Grey Cup while on the staff of the Calgary Stampeders before helping the Lions capture the 2006 and 2011 championships.  The former York University student spent five seasons  (’03- ’07) as the Lions’ special teams coordinator and linebackers coach before being promoted to the defensive coordinator position in 2008.