CFL coaches are trading places

CFL coaches are trading places
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There are a number of CFL coaches who have found themselves trading places this off-season. As a result they will be patrolling a different sideline in 2020.

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

The West Division

The BC Lions have made their second change in two years. Last year they replaced 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. 

His replacement DeVone Claybrooks lasted only a year going 5-13 and finishing last in the West.

Now it is the turn of former Ottawa coach Rick Campbell to take the reigns. 44-62-2 over 6 seasons in Ottawa doesn’t look that impressive. Strip away the expansion season and last year however and you have a coach who took his team to 3 Grey Cup finals and won one. 

The Edmonton Eskimos have parted ways with Jason Maas and hired Scott Milanovich.

Maas coached the Esks from 2016 to 2019 and finished with a 39-33 regular season record and 3-3 postseason record. In 2020 he will be the offensive coordinator in Saskatchewan. Maas’ system always seems to see a bump in QB productivity so look out for that next year from the Roughriders!

Milanovich formerly coached the Argos. Whilst he was in charge in Toronto the Double Blue went 43-47. Take out a 5-13 2016 season though and he was 38-34 and won the 2012 Grey Cup.

Of late Milanovich has been coaching in the NFL with the Jacksonville Jaguars. It will be fascinating to see how his return to the CFL pans out.

The East Division

In the East the Ottawa REDBLACKS were looking for a new coach. They found their man in Paul LaPolice who will be the second coach in franchise history.

LaPolice was hired as the 28th head coach of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Whilst there he compiled a 16-28 record and lost the 2011 Grey Cup. He has since returned as a successful offensive coordinator and it is that talent in particular you feel Ottawa have tabbed him for.

Finally the Toronto Argonauts have also changed the man in charge. The new regime have decided they want their own man in charge.

After a 4-14 season Corey Chamblin has been replaced by former Stamps QB coach Ryan Dinwiddie. Toronto have made a clear decision to move the focus from a defensive to an offensive minded coach.

Dinwiddie has had experiences as an offensive co-coordinator, quarterbacks, offensive quality control and running backs coach. This will be his first time as Head Coach however.

Staying Put

Winnipeg finally won the Grey Cup. It looks like their coach Mike O’Shea is staying in Manitoba too. 4 consecutive playoff appearances and a Grey Cup reflect a strong period of stability for the Blue Bombers.

Calgary have no reason to change their coach. Dave Dickenson has a 53-17-2 record. Alongside that he has 4 consecutive playoff appearances, including 3 Grey Cups and a championship in 2018.

Hamilton must be happy with their first year appointee. Orlondo Steinauer led the franchise to a record number of wins and was named coach of the year.

Saskatchewan are staying with Craig Dickenson who finished 13-5 in a debut season that saw the Riders win the West Division.

Montreal are also sticking with their coach after a successful debut year. Khari Jones led the Als to a 10-8 record and a first playoff appearance since 2014.

Banner Image: New Esks coach Scott Milanovich during his tenure with the Argos. Image from

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