What’s old is new again in Edmonton: Elks hire Chris Jones as general manager, head coach

Photo courtesy: Edmonton Elks

The Edmonton Elks have hired Chris Jones as general manager and head coach, per sources.

It’s a four-year contract for Jones through the 2025 season.

A veteran of 18 CFL seasons, Jones has a 53-37 regular season head coaching record with double digit win totals in four of his five seasons. He becomes the first head coach in franchise history to return for a second tenure. His .722 winning percentage with the Elks makes him one of only four head coaches in franchise history with regular season winning percentages above .700.

Edmonton was looking to hire a new bench boss and GM after firing Jaime Elizondo and Brock Sunderland along with president Chris Presson following a 3-11 season that put the Elks last place in the West Division.

Jones’ first head coaching job came in 2014 with Edmonton where he helped guide the green and gold to a Grey Cup championship in 2015 after a 14-4 regular season. He would leave to become the head coach and general manager of the Saskatchewan Roughriders the following season before taking a job as a defensive assistant with the Cleveland Browns in 2019.

The Tennessee native is a four-time Grey Cup champion 2002, 2008, 2012 and 2015 and was he was named the CFL’s Coach of the Year after guiding the Riders to a 12-6 season in 2018.

The 55-year-old Jones made his CFL coaching debut in 2002 with the Montreal Alouettes, winning his first championship, coaching six total years (2002-2007) as defensive line coach and defensive coordinator for the Als.

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga alum would spend the next four years with Calgary (2008-2011) prior to his two-year stint with the Boatmen, capturing his second and third championships along the way with each team.