Argos’ Ryan Dinwiddie would consider ‘any NFL opportunity that’s the right fit’

Photo: Reuben Polansky/3DownNation. All rights reserved.

Toronto Argonauts’ head coach Ryan Dinwiddie is open to exploring professional opportunities south of the border.

In a recent interview on Idaho Sports Talk with Prater and The Ballgame, the CFL’s reigning Coach of the Year revealed that he still has an interest in coaching in the NFL.

“Any NFL opportunity that’s the right fit, I think you look at that,” Dinwiddie said. “How long it’s gonna last and what’s it gonna do as far as your future and giving you a chance to move on and get another job? That’s always a big deal; is it advantageous for your family and those different things?”

Dinwiddie has previously received NFL offers, turning down an offensive quality control coach job with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2018 over fears that then-head coach Dirk Koetter would be fired. Those concerns proved to be prophetic, as Koetter got the axe following that season and Dinwiddie instead won a Grey Cup with the Calgary Stampeders. He would land his first head coaching job in Toronto a year later.

In three seasons at the helm of the Boatmen, the 43-year-old bench boss has posted a 36-14 record and finished first in the East Division each time. He captured a Grey Cup championship over the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in 2022 while tying a CFL record with 16 regular-season wins in 2023, eventually being upset by the Montreal Alouettes in the East Final.

Dinwiddie signed a multi-year contract extension with the Argonauts in July but could depart if a better opportunity arises. That would include any potential job in the NFL or major NCAA football.

“I’d prefer to be an NFL guy,” Dinwiddie said. “The NCAA, I’m always a West Coast guy as far as recruiting and being able to handle that.”

A record-setting quarterback at Boise State University, Dinwiddie expressed interest in his alma mater’s previously vacant head coaching position. That job was filled on Sunday when Spencer Danielson had his interim title removed after winning the Mountain West championship.

The Argos’ head man revealed that he had a rough plan for the position if he had been asked to interview, which involved employing the same recruiting model used by Pat Hill at Fresno State in the early 2000s and bringing his former head coach, Dan Hawkins, as a consultant. He also cited recruiting connections in Northern California through his father, a high school coach, as an advantage for a collegiate position.

Despite the landscape of college football changing with the growth of name, image, and likeness money (NIL), Dinwiddie indicated that those challenges would excite him if given the chance to coach in the NCAA.

“I think it’s gonna bring you out of your comfort zone a little bit. It’s work, everything’s work. It’s gonna be totally new, different for sure, but at the same time, I’m just sitting here at home right now going, ‘What am I doing next?’ I’m bored,” he laughed.

“I think there’s a lot of unknowns as far as me not being involved in the NCAA, but nothing I’m going to run away from and nothing that I won’t go attack and find ways to be one of the better teams on the West Coast.”

Dinwiddie said he did not ask his agent to inquire regarding the Boise State job, choosing instead to wait for an interested party to contact him. That will not be happening in the immediate future, but he believes his background with the school means he will always be a potential candidate if the position opens up in the future.

Other opportunities could still be out there, with Dinwiddie revealing he had previously been contacted by Fresno State for coaching opportunities. That program could be in the market for a new leader soon, with former CFL coach Jeff Tedford temporarily stepping away from the team ahead of their bowl game due to health concerns.

Still, it is the NFL where Dinwiddie would most like to ply his trade. That is a path that has a recent precedent for an Argonauts’ head coach with both a Grey Cup win and a CFL Coach of the Year award, as Scott Milanovich leveraged both of those accolades to move to the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2017.