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Setting the Culture of the Saskatchewan Roughriders… or Change it?

Published: Saturday, Nov 18th 2023, 4:11pm

By Alex Dormuth (@RealAlexD)


Saskatchewan Roughriders President & CEO Craig Reynolds said in an interview with The Green Zone’s Jamie Nye at the Grey Cup in Hamilton that the team’s next head coach (*ahem* Scott Milanovich *ahem*) needs to understand the culture of the organization and set the “sub-culture” within the team around accountability, hard work and resiliency.


There’s no doubt that whomever is the new Riders Head Coach, setting the culture is going to be a massive priority. Rider great Jeff Fairholm said that to us on The Piffles Podcast a couple of weeks ago.


But, over the course of 113 years, the culture of the team has resulted in just 4 Grey Cup championships. In a (mostly) 8 or 9 team league, that’s just absurd. Shouldn’t the formula that the team is using need to change at some point?


I think it’s time to scrap the current culture that the team has and develop a new identity. You can definitely incorporate a lot of what the team is currently doing (I think the team is actually doing a lot of good things off the field right now), but ultimately, winning is what fans and the organization wants. Craig Reynolds claimed that the organization is striving for “sustained success”. I’d actually like to actually see it.


For decades, the Saskatchewan Roughriders have been like an awkward teenage Alex… just happy to be invited to the party (though, I can’t think of one party I was ever invited to). Outside of a 7 year stretch that included 2 Grey Cup wins and 4 Grey Cup appearances, the team has generally been awful. A couple good years here or there, but never to the consistency that is desired by fans.


I have no doubt that the new head coach Scott M…. no, that’s too obvious… let’s say S. Milanovich (yes, much better), will do good things for the team on field. But it’s the safe hire, it’s the old boys club hire, it’s the hire we all saw coming that will surprise no one. This is the time when a full shift in the culture is needed and I’m afraid that we won’t get the injection into the team that is truly needed. Don’t play it safe this time Riders…


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