Wally Buono consulting for Edmonton Elks as they hire new GM

Photo courtesy: Scott Grant/CFLPhotoArchive.com

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

Wally Buono has agreed to consult and advise the club in the hiring a new general manager, the team announced, with a decision expected to be made named before the end of 2021.

“Wally is unrivalled as a winner in this league and we have every confidence that with his help we will find the general manager that will lead this team back to excellence,” said Ian Murray, the Chair of the Board of Directors, in a press release.

Buono consulted for the Montreal Alouettes in 2019 as they sought a new general manager. The club eventually hired Danny Maciocia, though Ryan Rigmaiden — who worked under Buono in B.C — was reportedly offered the job.

The 71-year-old grew up in Montreal and went on to become the winningest coach in CFL history over three decades with the Stampeders and Lions. The Canadian Football Hall of Famer won 282 games and five Grey Cups during his career, holding dual head coach/GM roles in both Calgary and B.C.

The Elks finished at the bottom of the West Division with a 3-11 record in 2021 and lost eight consecutive games in the middle of their season. They dropped their regular season finale to the B.C. Lions by a score of 43-10, which was their third contest in seven days due to the rescheduling of one of their games.

Edmonton was the only team in the CFL to suffer an outbreak of COVID-19 during the 2021 season, which was just one of the many off-field issues they faced.