“Of course I would love to be the Head Coach of the Riders” OC Kelly Jeffrey expresses interest in vacant position

With the CFL season still in progress, the Saskatchewan Roughriders cannot search for a new head coach outside the organization.

In the meantime, the team can look within, and one member of the team’s coaching staff who expressed interest in the vacant position is the offensive coordinator from this past season, Kelly Jeffrey.

He joined Michael Ball on Thursday’s edition of the Sportscage to discuss the Roughriders 2023 campaign and the open head coaching position.

Offensive Coordinator Kelly Jeffrey. Photo: Saskatchewan Roughriders

Jeffrey wrapped up his first year as offensive coordinator in Saskatchewan. He was the Roughriders running backs coach in 2022.

The green and white suffered a tough loss with the season-ending injury to starting quarterback Trevor Harris in July against the Calgary Stampeders. Jeffrey felt the team had enough talent to overcome the loss of Harris with Jake Dolegala and Mason Fine, but in the end, fell short of making the playoffs.

‘I believed in those guys, they’re still young back there at the quarterback spot.”

Jeffrey also thought the Roughriders would’ve benefitted if Harris had remained in the lineup.

“As a veteran quarterback sometimes you know when to cut your losses,” he explained. “Trevor provided so much on the field, that you can only get through experience.”

The leadership from Harris was something that Jeffrey figured was missing from the squad along his passion for the game.

“He would sit there on a Wednesday, an hour into a meeting with a grin on his face and just blurt out, man I love football, it was infectious.”

Turnovers were an issue for Saskatchewan in 2023, according to their offensive coordinator.

“As an organization, we did most ball security drills I ever done, at any level at any where, and just we struggled with turnovers.” Jeffrey added, “You can point to any stat you want, you turn the ball over multiple times a game, it’s really, really hard to win.”

Even with one week remaining in the CFL, the Roughriders will finish with the most turnovers (49) in 2023.

With the head coaching vacancy in Saskatchewan following the announcement earlier this week that the team would not retain Craig Dickenson, Jeffrey indicated that he would be interested in the position but is aware that it will be a wide-open search.

“I’ve been a head coach, of course, I would love to be the head coach of the Riders,” He said, “They got to find someone who kind of fits what they’re looking for, whatever that is.”

He noted that he will be touching base with General Manager and Vice-President of Football Operations Jeremy O’Day sometime soon.

A former head coach at the collegiate level, including a long stint in charge at Mt. Allison (2008-15), Jeffrey feels his prior experience has him prepared for a stint at the professional level.

“I took over a team, I think with a 34-game winning streak and we ended up going to National Semi-finals with the smallest enrollment of any football school in the country.”

Jeffrey was named the top coach in USports with the Mounties in 2014.

Changes have begun with the Roughriders, with Kelly Jeffrey hoping he can help make them in Saskatchewan instead of being a part of them.

More from 620 CKRM