TSN Edmonton reporter Ryan Rishaug broke the news on Sunday that the Saskatchewan Roughriders have hired Chris Jones as the club's new General Manager and Head Coach.
TSN CFL Insider Lawless reports the news will be made official at a news conference on Monday in Regina.
**The Saskatchewan Roughriders have called a media conference for today, Monday, December 7th at 1:00pm. The media conference will be held in the Rider locker room at Mosaic Stadium.**
From Arash Madani/Sportsnet.ca:
Chris Jones, who turned the 4-14 Eskimos into Grey Cup champions in only two years, will be the next general manager and head coach of the Saskatchewan Roughriders.
Jones interviewed with the Riders on Friday and accepted the job Sunday. While rumours had been rampant that Saskatchewan had interest in Jones’s services, they were not granted permission to speak to him until Tuesday, some 48 hours after the Esks won their first CFL title in a decade.
Jones will have full control of the football operations department in Saskatchewan with the dual title – which makes him one of the league’s top-paid executives. In Edmonton he had a considerable say in personnel, and “found” many of the American players in his free agent camps that became CFL stars, but he still reported to Eskimos general manager Ed Hervey.
The news of the Jones hiring was first reported by Edmonton's Ryan Rishaug.
It was Jones who discovered talents such as rookie of the year Derel Walker, quarterback James Franklin, linebacker Dexter McCoil and the inimitable Odell Willis, to name a few.
Two years ago, any organization could have had Jones, who before being hired in Edmonton had never been a head coach in the CFL. While he had interest in becoming one, and previously interviewed for openings, there appeared to be a concern among owners and team presidents that his brash, no-nonsense demeanour would not be the right fit. Ironically, it’s that approach that makes so many of his players fondly of how he operates.
Jones routinely had the top defenses in the league while he was a coordinator, and he has now won championships in each of his four CFL stops (Montreal, Calgary, Toronto and Edmonton).
On Grey Cup Sunday morning, Sportsnet reported that the four finalists for the Riders GM position were Jones, Jeremy O’Day (who held the interim role since January), Stampeders assistant GM John Murphy and Ottawa assistant GM Brock Sunderland. As Sportsnet first reported O’Day had his “formal” interview with Saskatchewan rookie president Craig Reynolds on Friday, and last week Sportsnet reported that Sunderland and Reynolds had spoken during the CFL playoffs.
The deal with Jones and the Riders moved quickly on Sunday. Sources said that as recently as Saturday night, the football club had not yet made a formal offer and that financial figures were not presented during the first interview.
Reynolds has previously said that O’Day will remain with the Roughriders organization in some capacity.
Jones recruited Craig Dickenson to be his special teams coordinator in Edmonton (the two had previously worked together in Calgary) when he got the job in November, 2013. It is believed Dickenson will follow Jones to Saskatchewan or join his brother, Dave, now the head coach of the Stampeders.