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Riders Head Coaching Candidates – Part 3 – Corey Mace & Buck Pierce

Published: Friday, Nov 24th 2023, 4:11pm

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, Toronto Argonauts Defensive Coordinator Corey Mace:


I LOVE what Corey Mace has done in Toronto with the Argonauts over the last couple of seasons. He turned them into a VERY solid unit in a short time (winning the Grey Cup in his first season as DC) and anytime you can take a coach away from a record tying 16-2 season, you’d definitely have to strongly consider it.


Mace is in the top 3 for me in the head coaching search for Saskatchewan. Even though I’d prefer an offensive minded coach, Mace checks all the other boxes for me. The players LOVE him. I think the youth that he would bring to an organization needing it in the worst way would be a GREAT thing. 


I think because of that young age, he really connects with the players. You can see it on the sidelines, he’s right in there with them celebrating a big play. It’s a completely different vibe with him than anything we’ve seen in Saskatchewan in a long time and honestly, that’s one of the biggest selling points to me. The culture needs to change here in Saskatchewan and Riders General Manager Jeremy O’Day hiring Corey Mace would be a huge step in changing it. 


I know he just signed a contract extension with the Toronto Argonauts, but Mace is going to be a head coach very soon in the CFL and I’d be excited if it happened to him here in Saskatchewan. Despite his contract situation, you HAVE to call him and see if there is interest. If there is, you’d be foolish to not interview him and give him some serious consideration. 


Sure, a first time head coach could be a risky play and goes away from everything this current regime seems to want with a safe hire, but the reward here is much bigger than just about every other name on this list. I’d love to see it happen, but I just don’t think it will.


Next up, Winnipeg Blue Bombers Offensive Coordinator Buck Pierce:


Pierce should be at the top of the list for Jeremy O’Day to want to interview. They had a little dynasty going on over in Winnipeg and why would you not want a piece of that? For what it’s worth, he’s #1 on my list. Pierce does a phenomenal job of keeping his QB Zach Collaros clean and healthy, he puts his players in the best possible position to succeed and gives his best players the ball repeatedly! Something we haven’t seen here in Saskatchewan since Korey Sheets


I would be over the damn moon if the Riders landed Buck Pierce… the culture that they have in Winnipeg is something the Riders need to emulate. Gone are the days of the green and white being the flagship franchise in the CFL. That title resides one province east. If you can take some of that and bring it here, you absolutely should… plus, he could potentially sway pending free agent QB Dru Brown to want to come to Saskatchewan…


Pierce was such a smart player in the league, I have no doubts that he will make a great head coach and I think he’s ready to make the jump right now. The only question is if he wants to do it in Saskatchewan. He could be the next guy in Winnipeg and if that is the Blue Bombers’ plan over the next couple of years, it would seem silly to want to leave that. 


But the way I see it, Buck Pierce got his start in the CFL against the Riders at Taylor Field, so he owes us one. And the Riders need an offensive minded head coach this time around, so really, it all fits! Do it Buck!


There are a few others across the league that deserve a serious look at as well. Those include Montreal Alouettes Defensive Coordinator Noel Thorpe, Toronto Argonauts Receivers Coach & Passing Game Coordinator Pete Costanza and BC Lions Defensive Coordinator Ryan Phillips


Previous Head Coaching Candidates

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

Former Ottawa Redblacks Offensive Coordinator Khari Jones & BC Lions Offensive Coordinator Jordan Maksymic


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