Riders reached out to Ricky Ray but he’s not interested in coaching (yet)

Photo courtesy: Scott Grant/CFLPhotoArchive.com

The Saskatchewan Roughriders have reached out to Ricky Ray regarding their quarterbacks coach job.

However, the surefire Hall of Fame QB isn’t ready just yet.

“Ricky’s not interested in coaching. He’s still getting to know his family again after being gone and playing for so long. I’ve talked to Ricky a couple of times, I think he’s happy where he’s at,” Riders’ head coach Craig Dickenson said on the 3DownNation podcast.

“Not to say that if the perfect opportunity came along he wouldn’t jump at it, but we’ve talked to Ricky and as of today he’s indicated to us that he’s not quite ready to jump into coaching. I think he will at some point, but it’s not today.”

Ray officially retired in May 2019 holding the individual record for Grey Cup wins as a starting quarterback with four, including two with the Eskimos (2003, 2005) and Argonauts (2012, 2017). The 2005 Grey Cup MVP has thrown the most-ever touchdowns in the CFL title game with nine majors.

Ray played nine seasons for Edmonton between 2002-2012 and the final seven in Toronto. He is one of only four quarterbacks in CFL history to throw for over 60,000 yards while leaving the three-down game as the Esks’ (40,531 yards) and Argos’ (20,205 yards) all-time passing leaders. Ray ranks number one in league history with a completion percentage of 68.2.

Last season Ray spent time in Edmonton watching and learning from then-head coach Jason Maas. He said at the time coaching was very interesting to him. Maas was hired by Dickenson to be Saskatchewan’s offensive coordinator, but Ray politely declined the Riders’ QB coach role.

“Jason’s going to be working with our quarterbacks. So the reality is we feel like we got a quarterbacks coach on staff already. Now if we can add a guy like a Ricky Ray that’s got great experience playing it and can ease the load on Jason a little bit, we will,” Dickenson said.

Maas’ coaching career came after an 11-season CFL career as a quarterback. He won two Grey Cups with the Eskimos in 2003 and 2005 with Ray as a teammate. In 2001, Maas was named West Division All-Star and voted the Eskimos’ Most Outstanding Player that year and in 2004.

“The reality is we feel like Jason is as good a quarterbacks coach as there is out there. So we’ve got a guy. Now we just gotta find one other coach probably on the offensive side of the ball that fits in and can contribute pretty much across the board and help out wherever he needs to,” Dickenson said.

Prior to his time in Edmonton, Maas served as the offensive coordinator for Ottawa. During the 2015 season, Maas was at the helm of an exceptional Redblacks offence. Ottawa led the league in offensive yards, passing yards and rushing touchdowns. While quarterback Henry Burris earned the CFL’s Most Outstanding Player award when Smilin’ Hank threw for a career single-season best 5,693 yards and produced four 1,000-yard receivers.

“This allows Jason a chance to get back to his roots,” Dickenson said, “coaching quarterbacks, calling plays and being an offensive coordinator.”