Coaching search begins crucial Roughriders offseason

If there is one team that is ready to move on to the 2024 season in the Canadian Football League, it’s the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

The green and white missed the playoffs for the second straight season, finishing the 2023 campaign with an identical 6-12 record.

To make matters worse, the organization saw a Grey Cup final that featured two former starting quarterbacks of the team, Cody Fajardo now with the Montreal Alouettes and Zach Collaros of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

Montreal secured a thrilling 28-24 victory over the Blue Bombers in the 110th Grey Cup on Sunday in Hamilton. With Fajardo and former offensive coordinator Jason Maas leading the charge for the Alouettes. The Roughriders dismissed Maas last year, while Fajardo departed as a free agent this past winter.

Last month, to begin the offseason, Saskatchewan elected to keep General Manager and Vice-President Jeremy O’Day but decided not to retain head coach Craig Dickenson.

During Grey Cup Week in Hamilton last week, Michael Ball caught up with the Roughriders President and CEO Craig Reynolds, with the search for a new head coach, led by O’Day, now about to pick up with the offseason now in full swing.

President and CEO Craig Reynolds. Photo: Blaine Weyland

The Grey Cup drought in Saskatchewan surpassed the decade mark, with the team’s last championship win coming in 2013. Reynolds wants to reward the fanbase for their endless passion to the team with another league title sooner rather than later.

“That’s what we’re working on every single day this offseason,” Reynolds explained to Ball. “I’ll tell you we’re extremely driven, it’s frustrating for our fanbase and certainly frustrating for me in my chair.”

Passion is a trait that Reynolds wants to see from the next head coach for the Roughriders. He also wants to see the next man in charge of the green and white understand

“It means so much more here, there’s a passion that’s unrivalled,” said the Roughriders President & CEO. He noted understanding the passion and the value of the football organization to the province is what Reynolds will focus on when the team is interviewing possible candidates.

With the CFL season now in the books, the Roughriders can begin assembling their list of coaching possibilities. Reynolds says that it will be O’Day’s job to compile a list of finalists before he gets involved in the hiring process.

The recent failures of the Saskatchewan Roughriders have left a sour taste. Reynolds, the team’s management, wants the next head coach to re-establish the winning culture that the organization previously possessed. Therefore, hiring the next head coach of the Roughriders is an important decision.

Last week the first group of head coaching candidates were revealed.

It’s also speculated, the Roughriders will reach out to Toronto Argonauts defensive coordinator Corey Mace and Winnipeg Blue Bombers offensive coordinator Buck Pierce.

On Monday, 620 CKRM’s Michael Ball reported, the interview process is well underway for the Roughriders.

Currently the Roughriders are the only team in the CFL with a head coaching vacancy, although the Hamilton Tiger-Cats haven’t made a decision on the coaching plans for next season, with the fate of Orlando Steinauer still yet to be decide.

The Ottawa REDBLACKS are in a search to find a new offensive coordinator after they parted ways with Khari Jones after one season in the nation’s capital.

O’Day has stated the Roughriders would like have their new head coach in place by the end of the month, meaning he would have to be hired by the end of next week.

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