The Toronto Argonauts have added Chris Jones to their coaching staff, per sources.
Jones had been hired as the South Pittsburg High School head coach in April, but he’s resigned to accept a position with the Argos and return to the CFL. Toronto plays his former CFL team the Saskatchewan Roughriders during Week 7 on Friday, September 17 in Regina at Mosaic Stadium.
Glen Young has been removed as the double blue defensive coordinator on the team’s official website, an indication Jones will assume the reigns over the defence.
The green and white improved their win total each year with Jones as head coach from 2016-2018, improving from five wins to 10 and then 12 over three seasons. He led the Riders to the playoffs in back-to-back seasons (2017-2018) after the franchise failed to make the post-season for two consecutive years.
He was named the CFL’s coach of the year in 2018, but he had an out clause in his contract that allowed him to pursue NFL opportunities. The Cleveland Browns came calling and the coaching lifer left Saskatchewan for Ohio.
Jones signed a two-year contract with Cleveland in January 2019, joining the team as a defensive assistant. In 2020, the Browns went 11-5 and made the playoffs for the first time since 2002. During the AFC Wild Card Round, Cleveland beat the rival Pittsburgh Steelers 48-37 for their first post-season win since 1994.
Despite the team’s success, Jones was not brought back for a third season with the Browns in 2021, which led to him accepting the top job at his high school. The Pirates played one game and had three cancelled due to COVID issues. One month into the season in Tennessee, Jones has decided to come back north of the border.
The soon-to-be 54-year-old is 53-37 as a head coach in Canada and won the 2015 Grey Cup with the Edmonton Football Team. He also won championships as an assistant coach with the Montreal Alouettes (2002), Calgary Stampeders (2008), and Argonauts (2012).
Current Argos head coach Ryan Dinwiddie has brought in the defensive guru to help the boatmen. Through five games, Toronto is first in the East Division with a 3-2 record and Jones will make the Argos a more formidable team, especially on defence.