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Riders Head Coach Candidates – Part 2 – Khari Jones & Jordan Maksymic

Published: Thursday, Nov 23rd 2023, 2:11pm

By Alex Dormuth (@RealAlexD)


In this series of articles, I’m going to have a look at the top names being thrown around the most as potential head coaching candidates for the Saskatchewan Roughriders. I hope General Manager Jeremy O’Day is doing his due diligence by talking to as many candidates as possible to see who lines up with the same vision as to where to take this team going forward and hopefully in the next week or so, we find out who the new head coach is here in Riderville.


Next up, Former Ottawa Redblacks Offensive Coordinator Khari Jones:


I like Khari Jones, I really do. But this is a coach that I have absolutely zero interest in becoming the head coach of the Saskatchewan Roughriders. I think he’s too nice of a guy. That’s a compliment to the person that Khari is, but it’s not as endearing as it sounds when it comes to describing the man in charge of a team.


I would be happy to see Jones back in green and white as Offensive Coordinator. Despite a poor season in Ottawa and being fired, I don’t think Jones was the issue. The lack of any good players and being down to their 4th string QB was the issue in Ottawa. After all, Khari Jones knows what a championship means to Saskatchewan, he was the Quarterbacks Coach when they won in 2013. With the right head coach at the helm, I think Jones can help deliver another one as an OC. 


Again, like the guy, the person, he’s been absolutely wonderful in the interactions I’ve had with him in the past, a very classy guy. Just not the direction I think the team needs to go right now.


Next up, BC Lions Offensive Coordinator Jordan Maksymic:


Here we go, this is the guy who was #1 on my head coaching candidate list for the last few months. The work that Jordan Maksymic has done in BC over the last couple of seasons with Nathan Rourke and Vernon Adams Jr. is to be applauded and celebrated. What better way to do both of those things than to bring him to Saskatchewan and let him do the same with the stable of QBs here?


Maksymic also helped guide the great Michael Reilly lead the league in passing in 2021, so the guy has worked and succeeded with some incredible talent. The Riders could definitely use their own QB whisperer, be it Trevor Harris near the end of his career or with Jake Dolegala making that next step in his career over the next year or two. 


The Riders need a shot of young blood brought into the organization and someone who will bring in a new way of thinking. Although the media hype around Maksymic has cooled down recently, I still have to think he’s one of the top candidates. There aren’t many times a young coach like Jordan Maksymic comes around and is available to you like he is right now. I think there will be more than 1 team looking for a head coach in 2025, so this is the time to get him. 


I know hiring someone like Maksymic, with no previous head coaching experience comes with a risk, but I really feel the reward is worth it here. I still think that the Riders go with Scott Milanovich, but I really hope that STRONG consideration (and a bit of a surprise hire) goes to Maksymic. This is definitely the time and place to give him his shot. 


So if he WAS my #1 and no longer is, who has that distinguished title now? We’ll find out in tomorrow’s article…


Previous Head Coaching Candidates

Hamilton Tiger-Cats Offensive Coordinator Scott Milanovich & Calgary Stampeders Special Teams Coordinator Mark Kilam


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