Ryan Dinwiddie: Edmonton would be ‘foolish’ not to hire Chris Jones as head coach

Photo courtesy: Toronto Argonauts

The Edmonton Elks are searching for a new president, general manager, and head coach and Ryan Dinwiddie feels strongly about who should fill at least one of those roles.

“We’ll see what’s going to happen with Chris (Jones). I think Chris is going to have some opportunities potentially, so I gotta sit down with him. I haven’t had that conversation yet — we’re still in the early process of finishing our season and licking our wounds a bit,” said Dinwiddie via videoconference.

“I think he’s going to have an opportunity to be a head coach. I think Edmonton would be foolish not to give him the job. If that happens, then I gotta find a new defensive coordinator.”

Jones took over as Toronto’s defensive coordinator when Glen Young was placed on leave in mid-September. The team went 6-2 following the change with the defence finishing fourth in offensive points allowed (19.6 per game) and seventh in net offence allowed (355.4 yards per game).

“I’ll sit down with Chris at some stage this week and we’ll talk about it, but he’s been supportive of me. Him coming in and doing a great job and taking care of that defence, I owe him a lot. I appreciate the work that he’s done and the same is for the rest of our staff,” said Dinwiddie.

Jones served as the head coach in Edmonton for two seasons (2014-15), posting a 26-10 regular season record and winning one Grey Cup. He left the organization to become the head coach and general manager of the Saskatchewan Roughriders in 2016 and went 27-27 over three seasons before departing for the NFL.

The Elks have indicated that they plan to hire a new general manager before the end of the calendar year, after which the team presumably plans to hire a new head coach.

Dinwiddie was hired as Toronto’s head coach in December 2019 after a four-year stint with the Calgary Stampeders. The Boatmen improved dramatically under Dinwiddie’s guidance in 2021, finishing the year with a 9-5 record after missing the playoffs under Corey Chamblin in 2019.