News of Chris Jones’s return to the CFL with Toronto broke last Monday morning when Stephen Hargis of the Chattanooga Times Free Press reported that former CFL coach of the year, Chris Jones, was resigning as HC of his alma mater, the South Pittsburg High School football team, effective immediately. And that Chris Jones was returning to the CFL to join the Toronto Argonauts, defensive staff.
The bombshell last Monday coincided with Toronto announcing that defensive coordinator Glen Young and defensive backs coach Joshua Bell were on personal leave from the team. The news came amidst reports that Young and Bell’s departure resulted from them not following MLSE’s vaccination policy, which requires that all employees be vaccinated.
Chris Jones was prepared to join the Argonauts staff a week ago. But he had to complete the quarantine and COVID protocol process before officially getting on board with the Boatmen.
In Week 7, Argonauts defensive consultant Rich Stubler called the defensive plays for Toronto against Saskatchewan. With linebackers coach Kevin Eiben assisting Stubler in the process.
It’s worth noting that the Argonauts have not placed an interim defensive coordinator tag on Chris Jones. He is receiving the same title designation that Rich Stubler has. However, the belief is that Jones will assume coordinator responsibilities moving forward with Glen Young away from the team.
Jones has a reputation for being one of the CFL’s very best and most creative defensive coaches. Jones won the 100th Grey Cup as defensive coordinator for Toronto back in 2012.
Chris Jones also has a history with several members of the Argos. OL Coach Stephen McAdoo was Jones’s assistant head coach in SSK. Also working under Jones with the Riders were current Toronto assistants Jarious Jackson and Markus Howell. Argonauts VP of player personnel John Murphy also worked alongside Jones as his assistant GM with the Riders.
Toronto hosts Montreal this Friday at BMO Field. Before the team has a bye in Week 9, the break-in mid-season could aid Chris Jones and the Argos coaching staff in the transition process when they resume play in Week 10 on Wednesday, October 6th at home versus Ottawa.
The Argonauts released this statement on the hiring of Chris Jones.
TORONTO ARGONAUTS HIRE CHRIS JONES AS DEFENSIVE CONSULTANT
- TORONTO – The Toronto Argonauts Football Club announced today they have hired Chris Jones as a defensive consultant.
Jones brings with him over 25 years of coaching experience, including 18 years in the CFL, and returns to Toronto after serving as the Argos defensive coordinator, assistant head coach, and assistant general manager from 2012-2013. The Tennessee native is a four-time Grey Cup champion (2002, 2008, 2012, 2105) and was 2018’s CFL Coach of the Year after guiding the Saskatchewan Roughriders to a 12-6 season. Jones made his CFL coaching debut in 2002 with the Montreal Alouettes, winning his first championship, and would coach six total years (2002-2007) as defensive line coach and defensive coordinator for the Quebec team. The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga alum would spend the next four years with Calgary (2008-2011) before his two-year stint with the Boatmen, capturing his second and third championships along the way with each team. Jones’ first head coaching job came in 2014 with Edmonton where he would help guide the green and yellow to a Grey Cup championship in 2015 after a 14-4 regular season. Jones would go on to become the head coach and general manager of the Saskatchewan Roughriders the following season through the 2018 season before taking a job as a defensive assistant with the Cleveland Browns in 2019. The defensive specialist most recently ran the football program at his high school alma mater, South Pittsburg.