And then there were two: Elks GM job narrowed down to Ted Goveia and Chris Jones, both in town this weekend

Photo courtesy: Edmonton Elks

The Ottawa Redblacks beat them to the punch in announcing the hiring of a new general manager, but it would appear that the Edmonton Elks are not far behind in their own search.

That process began last month when the club axed all three members of its leadership structure, firing head coach Jaime Elizondo, general manager Brock Sunderland and team president Chris Presson. That kicked off a search for football ops leadership led by consultant Wally Buono, the winningest coach in CFL history, and it appears the hall of famer has narrowed his candidates down to two.

According to a tweet from TSN’s Farhan Lalji in response to Ottawa’s hiring of Shawn Burke: “This leaves Ted Goveia and Chris Jones as remaining candidates in Edmonton. [Ryan] Rigmaiden not involved at this stage.”

Currently the B.C. Lions’ director of US scouting, Rigmaiden had been considered among the top candidates for jobs in both Edmonton and Ottawa, but now appears to be staying on the west coast. As a member of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in 2019, Rigmaiden turned down the job of Montreal Alouettes general manager.

Remaining in the hunt are the two candidates most suspected. Goveia was brought in for interviews this week and Chris Jones is also in the city, lending credence to the either or rumours.

Currently the assistant general manager and director of player personnel for the back-to-back champion Bombers, Goveia has a sterling reputation across the league for helping to build the foundations of those Grey Cup teams. He first broke in to the CFL with the Toronto Argonauts in 2010 after 15 years coaching U Sports football.

Despite his on-field background, Goveia is unlikely to assume a dual role in Edmonton, given some monetary advantage to current Argos defensive coordinator Chris Jones. In his first stint as Edmonton’s head coach, Jones helped the organization claim a Grey Cup in 2015. He then immediately bolted to Saskatchewan to become both head coach and general manager of the Roughriders.

After a brief foray into the NFL with the Cleveland Browns and a pit stop in high school, Jones will be looking for a similar split job title this time around and the cash-strapped Elks may particularly value a two-for-one deal.

Either way, it appears a decision on which of the two men will be in charge of the Elks organizational resurgence will be coming just in time for the holidays.