Twelve candidates to be the next general manager of the Edmonton Elks

Photo courtesy: Arthur Ward/CFL

The Edmonton Elks cleaned house on Monday, firing president and CEO Chris Presson, general manager and vice president of football operations Brock Sunderland, and head coach Jaime Elizondo.

Legendary head coach and general manager Wally Buono will serve as a consultant for Edmonton, helping steer their search for the club’s next general manager in the right direction. Below are twelve possible candidates for the Elks to consider as they look to turn the page on a disastrous season and towards a brighter future.

Candidates are listed in alphabetical order by last name.

Drew Allemang

Current position: senior director of personnel & co-manager of football operations, Hamilton Tiger-Cats

The son of long-time CFL offensive lineman Marv Allemang has a GM-type role with the Ticats and has helped assemble arguably the strongest group of Canadian talent in the league. Born in Hamilton, Allemang has paid his dues and is ready to take on a larger role by running his own franchise.

Shawn Burke

Current position: senior director of personnel & co-manager of football operations, Hamilton Tiger-Cats

The native of Guelph, Ont. has helped the Ticats become one of the league’s top franchises since initially joining the club as the director of community relations and communications. He already fulfills many GM duties in Hamilton, negotiating most of their contracts and taking the lead on free agency.

Duane Forde

Current position: colour commentator & CFL draft analyst, CFL on TSN

The 52-year-old won two Grey Cups over a twelve-year playing career before embarking on a successful broadcasting career with TSN. He has an extremely deep knowledge of the CFL draft and a large range of contacts across the professional and amateur levels. If anyone can make the transition from media to football operations, it’s Forde.

Ted Goveia

Current position: senior assistant general manager, Winnipeg Blue Bombers

You’ll be hard-pressed to find someone with a more complete resumé than Goveia, who has worked extensively in coaching and personnel at the amateur and professional levels. The native of Burlington, Ont. has been an essential part of Winnipeg’s resurgence over the last eight years, contributing to scouting, drafting, and negotiating contracts.

Ed Hervey

Current position: None

The 48-year-old served as the GM in Edmonton for four seasons (2013-16) during which the team compiled a 40-32 record, won four playoff games and a Grey Cup. Hervey clashed with some local reporters and then-president Len Rhodes, but helped build a number of winning teams. It’s tough to argue with that.

Chris Jones

Current position: defensive coordinator, Toronto Argonauts

The four-time Grey Cup champion had a strong two-year run in Edmonton (2014-15) during which he won a title. He recently served as the defensive coordinator, head coach, general manager, and vice-president of football operations in Saskatchewan and it’s not impossible to see him as the future head coach and GM in Edmonton.

Brendan Mahoney

Current position: director of player personnel, Calgary Stampeders

The native of Cochrane, Alta. has done it all in Calgary over the past 15 years, negotiating contracts, scouting on both sides of the border, helping run the draft, and more. He’s won three Grey Cups with the Stampeders and should be ready to carry that success over to a new team if given the opportunity.

Danny McManus

Current position: assistant general manager, Winnipeg Blue Bombers

The 56-year-old has spent over a decade working in personnel and was reportedly a front-runner for the GM job with the Montreal Alouettes until he took himself out of consideration for the job. He led Edmonton to a Grey Cup appearance as a quarterback in 1996 — could he do the same in the future as the club’s general manager?

John Murphy

Current position: vice-president of player personnel, Toronto Argonauts

The veteran personnel man has been in the CFL for more than a decade and helped overturn rosters wherever he’s been. Murphy performs many of the day-to-day tasks typically performed by the GM and has been one of the key reasons the Argos skyrocketed to the top of the East Division standings in 2021.

Ryan Rigmaiden

Current position: director of U.S. scouting, B.C. Lions

The native of Spokane, Washington has almost a decade of experience with B.C. and Winnipeg and has scouted talent effectively, including star receiver Lucky Whitehead. Rigmaiden was reportedly offered the GM job in Montreal when Buono served as a consultant there in 2019, which could give him the upper hand for the job in Edmonton.

Geroy Simon

Current position: director of global scouting & U.S. regional scout, B.C. Lions

The 46-year-old has spent the past seven years working in personnel with B.C., the team with which he became a Canadian Football Hall of Fame receiver. Many feel Simon is ready to take the next step and become the face of a CFL franchise with his name recognition potentially helping bring fans back to Commonwealth Stadium.

Spencer Zimmerman

Current position: None

The native of London, Ont. has almost a decade of personnel experience with Hamilton and Toronto, specializing in talent acquisition on both sides of the border. Zimmerman won a Grey Cup as the Argos’ assistant general manager in 2017 and is well-regarded as a talent evaluator.

John Hodge is a Canadian football reporter based in Winnipeg.