Calgary Stampeders special teams coordinator Mark Kilam is set to interview with the Ottawa Redblacks on Friday and Edmonton Eskimos on Monday for their respective vacant head coach positions, per sources.
Kilam has spent 15 seasons in the CFL, all with the Stamps, 10 as special teams coordinator. 2019 was his first year with the additional title of assistant head coach.
Calgary’s special teams unit played a key role in the Stampeders’ 2018 Grey Cup victory over Ottawa as Terry Williams returned a punt for a touchdown and Riley Jones forced a fumble on a Redblacks punt return.
The Stamps’ specials unit has been regarded as one of the top groups in the league every year under Kilam. During the 2018 season, Calgary led the league in a number of critical categories: punt return average (12.3 yards); lowest opponent punt return average (8.1 yards) and tied for the league lead with four kick return touchdowns.
Williams tied a franchise single-season record with three punt return touchdowns; Wynton McManis led the league in special-teams tackles and kicker Rene Paredes became the first player in CFL history to have four different seasons with a field-goal success rate of at least 90 per cent. Punter Rob Maver finished second in the league with a net punting average of 38.0 yards and was also second in the CFL with 12 punts inside the opponents’ 10-yard line.
The Lethbridge, Alberta native aided in the development of Roy Finch who tied a franchise single-season mark with three punt return touchdowns and beat his own record for most punt return yards in a season. He finished 2017 with 1,200 punt-return yards, the third-best total in league history. Finch was named the CFL’s Most Outstanding Special Teams Player for his efforts.
Kilam has been part of three CFL championship teams in Calgary (2008, 2014 and 2018). He’s worked alongside John Hufnagel and Dave Dickenson for a number of years developing the requisite traits and skills to be a head coach.