CFL Players moving to the Sidelines

August 8th, 2016
By Tony Playter

The CFL sidelines are changing. In recent years, retired CFL players have traded their helmets for coaching headsets.

Every team has those special players who are willing to pay their dues to help their team succeed.  They are the first ones in, showing up early for extra film study or staying late to put in additional time in the weight room.

During their playing career, this extra work and dedication does not go unnoticed by general managers and coaches across the CFL. This leadership and dedication is what sets these potential coaches apart from their teammates.

In many cases, players in both the CFL and NFL do not want to pay their dues to move up through the coaching ranks. Many do not want to commit to the 18-hour work days necessary to be a good coach. Others may not have the leadership ability to motivate. Climbing the coaching ladder takes patience and may require the flexibility to move from city to city.

For those who want to take the plunge into the coaching world, the CFL seems to be the most welcoming.  While there are many good coaches who have never played at the top-level, current CFL general managers and coaches have looked into the leagues playing ranks for the next wave of coaches and player personnel directors.

These new coaching recruits, are using their experience, work ethic and credibility of being a former player to their advantage. There is a locker room realization that players enjoy having coaches who have played the game. It seems it is easier to teach others something you have done or experienced.

As well, players who have had longer careers also have an advantage from learning from multiple coaches. This gives them the ability to choose from a variety of schemes  and adapt the best ones into their game plans.

The current CFL coaching ranks are filled with many former players. This bodes well for the league as fans can now identify with their former on-field heroes as they patrol the sidelines.

For a younger player looking to make an impression with their team, this is great news. These new coaches, who once were in those same rookie’s cleats, will share their experience and wisdom that can help young players to advance their career.

It is also a real positive for the CFL Alumni Association. This new wave of coaches helps to keep their members involved in the game they have grown to love.

Below is a list of former players who are now part of a CFL coaching staff, football operations and/or front office as compiled by the CFLAA as of June 28, 2016

BC Lions (6)

Wally Buono, General Manger and VP Football Operations, (LB, Montreal 1973-82)
Mark Washington, DB Coach, (DB, Montreal 1997-2002, BC, 2003-06)
Khari Jones, Offensive Coordinator/ QB Coach (QB, BC1997-99, Winnipeg 2000-04, Calgary 2004, Edmonton 2005, Hamilton 2005)
Marcello Simmons, Defense and Special Teams Coach (DB, Toronto 1995-98, 2000-2001, Edmonton 1999, BC, 2000)
Jamie Taras, Director Community Relations, (OL and FB, BC, 1987-2003)
Geroy Simon , Player and Business Developmental Advisor ( WR, Winnipeg 1999-2000, BC  2001-12, Saskatchewan 2013 )

Calgary Stampeders (9)

David Sapungis, Executive Committee Member, (WR. Calgary 1990-97)
John Hufnagel
, President/General Manager, (QB, Calgary, 1976-79, Saskatchewan, 1980-83, 1987, Winnipeg, 1984-86
Dave Dickenson, Head Coach/Offensive Coordinator, (QB, Calgary, 1997-2000 and 2008, BC, 2003-07)
Ryan Dinwiddie, Quarterbacks Coach (QB, Winnipeg 2006-08, Saskatchewan 2010-11)
DeVone Claybrooks, Defensive Coordinator, (DL, Montreal 2007-08, Calgary, 2009-11)
Mark Mueller, Running Backs (QB, Edmonton 2011)
Kahlil Carter, DB Coach (DB, Toronto 2005-07, Montreal 2008)
Corey Mace, DL (Calgary 2010-15)
Dimitri Tsoumpas, Strength and Conditioning Coach, (OL Calgary 2008-09, 2010-13)

Eskimos (5)

Ed Hervey.  General Manager (WR, Edmonton 1999-2006)
Jason Maas, Head Coach/Offensive Coordinator, (QB, Edmonton 2000-05, Hamilton 2006-07, Montreal 2007, Edmonton 2008-10)
Baron Miles, DB Coach (DB, Montreal 1998-2004, BC 2005-09)
Tim Prinsen, Running Backs (Hamilton 1997-99, Edmonton 2000-04)
Demetrous Maxie, Linebackers (Montreal 96, Toronto 96-99, Saskatchewan 2000-01, Toronto 2002, Calgary 2003-07)

 Saskatchewan Roughriders (7)

Jeremy O’Day, Assistant Vice President, Football Operations & Administration (OL, Toronto, 1997-98, Saskatchewan, 1999-2010)
Steve Mazurak, VP Sales (WR, Saskatchewan 1973-80)
Stephen McAdoo, Offensive Coordinator, (1994-95 Shreveport)
Markus Howell, Receivers Coach, (WR, Winnipeg, 2000-04, 2010, Ottawa, 2005, Calgary, 2006-09)
Jarius Jackson, QB Coach (QB, BC 2005-11, Toronto 2012)
Jason Shivers, DB Coach (DB, Toronto 2008-09, Hamilton 2010-11)
Ed Philion DL Coach (DL Montreal 1999-2006)

Winnipeg Blue Bombers (9)

Wade Miller, President and CEO (LB, Winnipeg 1995-2005)
Kyle Walters, General Manager (DB, Hamilton 1997-2003)
Danny McManus, Assistant General Manager (QB, Winnipeg, 1990-92, BC, 1993-95 Edmonton, 1996-97, Hamilton, 1998-2005, Calgary, 2006)
Mike O’Shea, Head Coach ( LB, Hamilton 1993-95,2000 Toronto 1996-99,2001-08)”
Buck Pierce, RB Coach, (QB, BC, 2005-09, 2013, Winnipeg, 2010-2013)
Richie Hall, Defensive Coordinator (DB, Calgary 1983-87, Saskatchewan 1988-91)
Avon Cobourne, RB Coach (RB Montreal 2006-10, Hamilton 2010-11)
Glen Young, Linebackers Coach (LB Calgary 1998-2000, Montreal 2001, Montreal 2002-05)

Hamilton Tiger-Cats (6)

Kent Austin, VP Football Operations, General Manager, Head Coach, (QB, Saskatchewan, 1987-93, BC, 1994, Toronto, 1995, Winnipeg, 1996
Orlondo Steinauer, Defensive Coordinator, (DB, Ottawa, 1996, Hamilton, 1997-2000, Toronto, 2001-08)
Corey Grant, Running Backs Coach (RB, Hamilton, 1999-2001, 09, Montreal, 2002, Saskatchewan, 2002-08)
Chuck Winters, Defence and Special Teams Assistant
Stephan Ptaszek, Offensive Coordinator and Receivers
John Williams, Coordinator Play Action/Community Development

Toronto Argonauts (4)

Michael “Pinball” Clemons, Vice-Chair, (KR, PR, SB, RB, Toronto, 1989-2000)
Scott Milanovich, Head Coach, (QB, Calgary, 2003)
Marcus Brady, Offensive Coordinator, (QB, Toronto, 2002-03, Hamilton, 04-05, Montreal, 06-08)
Jordon Younger, DB Coach, (DB, Toronto 2004-07, Edmonton 2008, Toronto 2009 2012)

Montreal Alouettes (6)

William Fields, Quality Control and DB Coach (DB, Calgary 2001-04, Winnipeg 2005)
Anwar Stewart, Defensive Quality Control Coach (DL, Calgary 2001, 12, Montreal 2002-11, 13)
Andre Bolduc, Offensive Quality Control and Special Teams Coach (Rec., Ottawa 1996, Edmonton 1997, Montreal 1998-2001)
Jacques Chapdelaine, Offensive Coordinator, ( WR, BC 1983-84, Montreal 1985-86, Hamilton 1987-89, Calgary 1989)
Kavis Reed, Special Teams Coordinator, (DB, Edmonton 1995-99)
Anthony Calvillo, Offensive Coordinator, (QB, Las Vegas 1994, Hamilton 1995-97, Montreal 1998-2013)


Mark Nelson, Defensive Coordinator (LB, Calgary 1980-85, Sask, 1986)
Travis Moore, Receivers Coach (WR, Calgary 1994, 1996-2002, Sask, 2003-05)
Leroy Blugh, Defensive Line Coach (DL, Edmonton, 1989-99)
Ike Charlton, Defensive Backs Coach (LB, Winnipeg 2005-10, Montreal 2010)
Brian Chiu, OL Coach, (OL, Montreal 1997-2009)
Miles Gorrell, Canadian Scout ( OL, Calgary 1978-82, Ottawa 1982, Montreal 1982-95, Hamilton, 1985-91,96, Winnipeg 1992-95 )
Pat Woodcock, Strength Coordinator

Information collected by Leo Ezerins, Executive Director, CFL Alumni Association, please contact him with any errors or omissions at

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