JONES: Elks CEO seeks up Ted Goveia, Chris Jones


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You couldn’t have a soccer playoff involving two more devilishly different entities than this one.

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Ted Goveia and Chris Jones both arrived in Edmonton on Sunday for the final as general manager of the Edmonton Elks.

The idea here was for consultant Wally Buono to conduct the candidate search and produce a list of three to EE Chairman Ian Murray and Trustees Tom Richards and Darryl Boessenkool to make the final selection.

There are so many more implications than if it had turned out to be a simple showdown between the two Gray Cup assistant general managers, Goveia of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and Shawn Burke of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. But on Sunday, Burke was announced as the new general manager of the Ottawa Redblacks.

It made Goveia against Jones.

Goveia has won the last two Gray Cups as assistant general manager and director of player personnel in Winnipeg.

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Since joining the Bombers in 2013 after four seasons with the Toronto Argos, Goveia has reportedly been heavily involved in all aspects of the formation of the scouting department, including Canadian and US negotiations, independent agencies and contracts. .

Certainly a low-key hire, Goveia is a Canadian who coached Canadian college football for 15 years.

Ted Goveia is one of the nominees for the new general manager of the Edmonton Elks.
Ted Goveia is one of the nominees for the new general manager of the Edmonton Elks. Photo by Ted Wyman /Post-media network

Jones, of course, is definitely a top coach and the most recent coach to win the Gray Cup in Edmonton in 2015.

Let’s go back to the day when EE last hired Jones as head coach and defensive coordinator.

He had just spent the previous two seasons with the Toronto Argonauts and was the defense architect who helped win the Gray Cup 100 in Toronto in 2012, when he was also assistant head coach and assistant general manager of the Argos. Jones replaced Kavis Reed, who was fired after Edmonton finished with a 4-14 record.

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Jones joined Montreal in 2002 and served as the Alouettes’ defensive coordinator until 2007, when he joined the Calgary Stampeders as a defensive coordinator. It was not without controversy that Jones joined the Argos. Toronto was fined $ 5,000 for tampering.

But what happened next in Edmonton makes it somewhat surprising that Jones will ever see this day, but potentially be hired to return. Within days, Jones left Edmonton to take up a position in Saskatchewan as General Manager, Head of Football Operations, Head Coach and Defensive Coordinator.

Not only did he leave Edmonton dry, Jones brought most of his coaching staff and a significant number of Gray Cup champion players with him.

In early January 2019, a week after signing a contract extension with the Roughriders, Jones resigned as he did a week after winning the Cup here.

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He left the Riders to become a senior defensive specialist with the Cleveland Browns of the NFL. He was taken off the coaching staff after one season.

Last season Jones found himself in Toronto as an assistant while Edmonton had a 3-11 season and lost all seven of their home games.

Talk about what’s going on around you.

It’s an interesting move with Jones, as half the fans probably want him to come back because he’s undeniably a proven winner. But the other half are probably not interested in forgiving him because of his departure in 2015.

There is also another factor.

Over the past two years, the image of the organization and its relationship with the community have suffered significant damage. Jones will long be remembered as the head coach who refused to let his players carry on their wonderful Monday Morning Magic tradition, helping children with special needs on the rides halfway through and sharing the morning with them. Jones refused to change the team’s training time to accommodate them.

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And here’s a thought that was expressed to me by an insider of the CFL. If EE chooses Jones, his other major vacancy, that of President and CEO, would instantly become less desirable. Jones is said to have tremendous power and leverage.

The idea to blow this thing up and fire CEO Chris Presson, GM Brock Sunderland and coach Jaime Elizondo was to try and win back fans who left Commonwealth Stadium almost entirely at the end of the season in the same time that nearly 100,000 of them filled the place for two World Cup qualifying matches.

Winning, of course, sells tickets. But by hiring Jones, how many additional subscription holders would you be chasing?

But there is another factor involved here. The Elks have a major problem in not having enough money for the football operations they have to work with, thanks to the salaries they have to pay to the people they have made redundant.

The big attraction of Jones, aside from his history of success, is that he would most likely be the general manager, head coach and defensive coordinator, and possibly for a lot less than what Saskatchewan paid him. . Goveia would just be the general manager.

However, if they hired Goveia, he would bring in a team of coaches who would be fully engaged in the community.

Who would you hire?

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