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The Argos Hiring Corey Mace As New Defensive Coordinator

The Argos are set to hire Calgary Stampeders defensive line coach Corey Mace as their new defensive coordinator. Taking on the role vacated by now Edmonton HC/GM Chris Jones.

New Argos Defensive Coordinator Corey Mace

As first reported by Justin Dunk of 3DownNation. The Argos have been in talks with Corey Mace since last season transpired. It’s not surprising that former Stamps OC and current Toronto head coach Ryan Dinwiddie would lean to his Calgary connections for what is a crucial hire for his coaching staff.

The Toronto Argonauts have not officially confirmed the hire as of press time. But a reported two-year deal between the Boatmen and Corey Mace has been finalized.

New Argos Defensive Coordinator Corey Mace

Corey Mace reunites with Argos head coach Ryan Dinwiddie after spending four seasons together on the same coaching staff in Calgary. Mace will be replacing now-former Argos’ defensive consultant Chris Jones, who predictably departed after the 2021 CFL season to head back to Edmonton as the Elks GM and Head Coach.

Mace, a former defensive lineman and defensive line coach for Calgary, could also be reuniting with current Argonauts defensive assistant Rich Stubler. The veteran Stubler once coached the highly regarded Mace when the Stamps won the Grey Cup back in 2014.

Calgary Stampeders’ Corey Mace hoists the Grey Cup in the locker room after winning the 102nd Grey Cup in Vancouver, B.C., Sunday, November 30, 2014, between the Calgary Stampeders and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. The Stamps won 20-16. (CFL PHOTO – CHAD HIPOLITO)

Technically, on paper, Corey Mace is replacing former Boatmen defensive coordinator Glen Young, who left the team in midseason last year. After an issue with the organization’s vaccine mandates for team employees.

Mace also has a relationship with former Argos defensive backs coach Joshua Bell, and the two patrolled the sidelines together with the Stamps. Whether or not the beloved Bell returns to the Six remains to be seen, as he left under the same circumstances that Glen Young did.

Corey Mace also has a strong relationship with former Stamps DC and BC Lions head coach DeVone Claybrooks. It will be interesting if Mace shapes his first staff as DC with some familiar faces from his time playing and coaching.

This past season, Toronto took a committee approach on defence after the departure of Young and Bell. With Chris Jones, Rich Stubler, and Kevin Eiben teaming together to coordinate Double Blue’s defensive unit. It’s possible that Mace could reach into his history to bring on coaches he is familiar with, as he coordinates a defence for the first time in his coaching career.

The Argos defence had a solid campaign in 2021. However, the unit’s weakness was its inability to sack the quarterback. Toronto finished second to last in the CFL in that category. The Argos hope that Mace will be able to get the most out of a very talented group with American players like the standout Shawn Oakman and Shane Ray.

Corey Mace’s Impressive CFL Resume

Corey Mace’s bio in football is an impressive one. Both on and off the field. The 36-year-old Vancouver native has helped develop some of the CFL’s best pass rushers like Charleston Hughes, Shawn Lemon, Micah Johnson, and Mike Rose. Under his tutelage, Mace’s defensive line has been at the top of the league in sacks in three different seasons.

Mace spent 11 seasons in the Stampeders organization as a player and defensive line coach. His body of work in both areas has been stellar. This past year, the Stamps were fourth in the league in sacks with 32.

In 2019, Calgary finished second in the CFL in opponents’ average yards per rush. Cordarro Law led Calgary’s defensive line with ten sacks, and Mike Rose led all interior linemen in the CFL with 46 tackles.

During the 2018 season, Calgary tied for the league lead with 45 sacks, with five different linemen contributing at least four QB takedowns to that total. The Stamps also allowed a league-low 86.5 rushing yards per game. Micah Johnson recorded a career-high in sacks and was named a West Division and CFL all-star for the second consecutive season while earning the team nomination for the CFL’s Most Outstanding Defensive Player award.

In 2017, the defensive line was part of a Calgary defence that allowed opposing offences a league-low 301 points. The Stamps led the CFL with 125 quarterback pressures and were tied for first with 50 sacks.

Mace oversaw a group that produced 46 of the Stamps’ league-leading 53 sacks in his first season as a coach. The line was also instrumental in a run defence that allowed the Stamps to tie for league lows in touchdowns allowed (11) and average opponents’ gain per rush (4.6 yards). Charleston Hughes and Johnson both earned CFL all-star honours.

As a player, Mace joined the Stampeders in 2010 and appeared in 40 regular-season games. The defensive tackle recorded 44 tackles and four sacks during his Calgary career and scored two touchdowns — one on a reception as part of the short-yardage unit and one on a fumble recovery. Mace also played six post-season contests for the Stamps, including the 2014 Grey Cup, in which he recorded a sack to help Calgary defeat Hamilton for the title.

Mace won the Stamps’ 2014 Presidents’ Ring award as voted by teammates for his contributions on and off the field. His work in the community includes spearheading a Christmas turkey and ham drive to benefit local food banks, an initiative he started in 2013.

Before joining the Stampeders, Mace spent three seasons (2007-09) in the National Football League — playing a total of five games for the Buffalo Bills — and starred at the University of Wyoming, where he earned second-team all-Mountain West honours during his senior season.

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