CFL coaching carousel in full swing

CFL coaching carousel in full swing
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The CFL coaching carousel is in full swing. Football is a 365 days a year business and as ever that means movement from the front offices in the off-season.

Just because it’s a nine team league doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty happening as regards coaching either. In fact, arguably having six of those teams make the playoffs adds extra demands for success and makes jobs all the more tenuous.

So where do we stand with the teams – who is coming and who is going?

Coaching changes

Toronto Argonauts – After Marc Trestman led the Argos to the Grey Cup in 2017 a league worst 4-14 return saw Toronto decide to move in a new direction. They have appointed Corey Chamblin in his stead.

Chamblin has CFL experience having gone 29-34 as coach of Saskatchewan between 2012 and 2015, including a Grey Cup win in 2013. He could be recognisable to UK based fans who remember NFL Europe as he spent a stint with the Frankfurt Galaxy in 2006.

Chamblin was the Argos defensive coordinator in 2017 and his defence produced six East Division All-Stars and was one of the strengths of that Grey Cup winning team.

BC Lions – The Lions are looking to replace veritable CFL coaching legend Wally Buono after he retired with a 282-165-3 lifetime regular season record. Not to mention a 23-18 post season record with 5 grey Cups. These will be big shoes to fill!

GM Ed Hervey knew when he took the job this was on the horizon. It has just been reported that DeVone Claybrooks will be the new man in BC. This confirms earlier reports. The Lions will be getting one of the most sought after candidates after Claybrooks has overseen immense success with the Calgary D.

Hamilton Tiger-Cats – A year after being made the full-time Head Coach June Jones will step aside. After stepping in half way through the 2017 season, Jones finished 14-14 in the regular season in Hamilton and 1-1 in the playoffs. He brought stability and hope back to a team that had started 2017 0-8 before he took over.

Jones agreed to step aside for Orlando Steinauer to take over as head coach in 2019. Jones will stay on in 2019 as associate head coach and offensive coordinator. Like Claybrooks at BC, the Ti-Cats have secured one of the most sought after potential head coaching candidates. The movement in Hamilton may well have been about the future and keeping Steinauer in house.

Returning coaches

Calgary Stampeders – Dave Dickenson. Having a 41-11-2 regular season record and having just won the Grey Cup this comes as no surprise. 

Saskatchewan Roughriders – Chris Jones. 53-37 with a Grey Cup on the CV in Edmonton. Jones is the current CFL Coach of the Year. Again no surprise here.

Winnipeg Blue Bombers – Mike O’Shea. Has a 45-45 record that includes the last three consecutive winning seasons. The Bombers seem invested in a long-term turnaround under O’Shea.

Ottawa Redblacks – Rick Campbell. Take out the expansion year 2-16 record & Campbell has a 39-31-2 regular season record. Has led Ottawa to 3 Grey Cup finals and won one. When he goes the franchise’s first coach will be a tough act to follow. 

Edmonton Eskimos – Jason Maas. 31-23 at Edmonton, there was initially speculation about Maas’ future after 2018 saw the Esks miss the playoffs for the first time since 2013. He will however be back in 2019.

Montreal Alouettes – Mike Sherman. Had a 5-13 debut season in Montreal. This was actually a step up from their 3-15 2017 season. The Als have opted for stability with Sherman returning. He and the GM will be on the hot seat in 2019.

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