12/05/2013 03:59 EST | Updated 02/04/2014 05:59 EST

Tom Higgins stepping down immediately as the CFL's director of officiating

TORONTO, Cananda - The CFL is in need of a new director of officiating.

The league announced Thursday that Tom Higgins is leaving that post effective immediately.

"It's our understanding Tom intends to seek a position on the competitive side of football, as a coach, general manager or administrator," CFL commissioner Mark Cohon said in a statement. "We thank him for his efforts and wish him the very best in his future endeavours."

Higgins became the CFL's director of officiating April 15 2008. Prior to joining the league's head office, Higgins spent more than 25 years as a player, coach and personnel director.

Twice he was named the CFL's coach of the year and in '03 led the Edmonton Eskimos to a Grey Cup title as the club's head coach.

"Tom's tenure as director of officiating has seen the introduction of many improvements and innovations from the debut of the Command Centre for video review to the introduction of position coaches to the addition of a co-ordinator for the development of amateur officials," Cohon said.