Former CFL Players currently working in the CFL

Former Players Shine in off-field Roles

By Brian Snelgrove

You can take the player out of the CFL but you can’t always take the CFL out of the player.

Now, more than ever, the skills, experience and training learned on the playing field are being passed on to a new generation of players.

For former CFL players there truly is opportunity after football.

In 2012 there were 33 former CFL players active in the CFL either in an executive, front office or coaching capacity. In 2013 there were 40 and in 2014 there were 54 – this year as of May 30, 2015, there are 56.

Wally Buono, a linebacker with Montreal from 1973-82 is one of the most successful ever in making the transition from the gridiron to the front office ranks. Buono has more than 40 years experience in the CFL as a player, a coach and an executive. He is tied with four others for the most Grey Cup victories as a Head Coach with five. He has also been named CFL Coach of the Year on four occasions.

“I’ve always been a big believer that former players should be given an opportunity after their careers are over,” says Buono, who is currently General Manager and VP of Football Operations for the BC Lions. “It’s a unique kind of person who can excel in the CFL and go on to the coaching or front office level. CFL players have to be well-rounded. They can’t be too specialized. They have to be very versatile. They have to have the ability to communicate the game. They have to have a persona. And there has to be a confidence, a wow factor for the players to look up to. For the players that have gone through it, winning and losing, they have the experience, the passion and the desire. A good example of that is Geroy Simon (Lions Player-Business Developmental Advisor).”

“As to why there are so many former players in positions in the League today I credit guys like Cal Murphy,” adds Buono. “He was a pioneer. When he hired people he tried to hire people from the League.”

“When I retired from playing I was very fortunate that Joe Galat had every confidence in me as a player. You need someone who believes in you and gives you a chance. You have a lot of knowledge but the question is can you transfer that knowledge to others?”

Following is a list of former CFL players working in the CFL as of May 30, 2015. We apologize, in advance, for any omissions.
BC Lions
– Jeff Tedford, Head Coach (QB, Hamilton, 1983-85, Calgary, 1986, Saskatchewan, 1987, Winnipeg, 1988)
– Mark Washington, Defensive Coordinator (DB, Montreal, 1997-2002, BC, 2003-07)
– Chuck McMann, Special Teams, Running Backs (WR, Running Back, Montreal, 1976-85)
– Khari Jones, Offensive Coordinator (QB, BC, 1997-99, Winnipeg, 2000-04, 2007, Calgary, 2004, Edmonton, 2005-06, Hamilton, 2005)
– William Fields, Assistant DB Coach (CB, Calgary, 2001-02, Winnipeg, 2003-06)
– Wally Buono, GM and VP, Football Operations (LB, Montreal, 1973-82)
– Geroy Simon, Player-Business Developmental Advisor (Winnipeg, 1999-2000, BC, 2001-2012, Saskatchewan, 2013)
– Jamie Taras, Director of Community Relations, (BC, C, G, FB, 1987-2003)
Calgary Stampeders
– John Hufnagel, Head Coach/General Manager (QB, Calgary, 1976-79, Saskatchewan, 1980-83, 1987 Winnipeg, 1984-86)
– Dave Dickenson, Offensive Coordinator, Assistant Head Coach (QB, Calgary, 1996-2000, 2008, BC, 2003-07)
– DeVone Claybrooks, DL Coach (DT, Montreal, 2007-08, Calgary, 2009-11)
– Kahlil Carter, DB Coach (CB, DB, LB, Toronto, 2005-07, Montreal, 2008)
– Dave Sapunjis, Executive Member, (SB, WR, Calgary, 1990-96)
Edmonton Eskimos
– Stephen McAdoo, Offensive Coordinator (OL, Shreveport, 1994-95)
– Jarious Jackson, QB Coach (QB, BC, 2005-11, Toronto, 2012)
– Kez McCorvey, Receivers Coach (WR, Edmonton, 2000-01)
– Ed Philion, DL Coach (DL, Montreal, 1999-2006)
– Jason Shivers, DB Coach (DB, Toronto, 2008-09, Hamilton, 2010-11)
– Ed Hervey, General Manager (WR, Edmonton, 2007-2012)
Hamilton Tiger-Cats
– Kent Austin, Head Coach/General Manager (QB, Saskatchewan, 1987-93, BC, 1994, Toronto, 1995, Winnipeg, 1996)
– Corey Grant, RB Coach (WR, Hamilton, 1999-2001, 2009, Montreal, 2002, Saskatchewan, 2002-08)
– Dennis McPhee, DL Coach (Toronto, Edmonton)
– Orlondo Steinauer, Defensive Coordinator (Safety, Ottawa, 1996, Hamilton, 1997-2000, Toronto, 2001-08)
– Marcello Simmons, Assistant Defensive and Special Teams Coach (DB, Toronto, 1995-98, 2000-01, Edmonton, 1999, BC, 2000)
Montreal Alouettes
– Tom Higgins, Head Coach (LB, Calgary, 1976)
– Ryan Dinwiddie, Offensive Assistant (QB, Winnipeg, 2006-08, Saskatchewan, 2010-11)
– Kavis Reed, Special Teams Coordinator (DB, Edmonton, 1995-99)
– Anthony Calvillo, Receivers Coach (QB, Las Vegas, 1994, Hamilton, 1995-97, Montreal, 1998-2013)
– Andre Bolduc, Offensive Assistant (SB, Ottawa, 1996, Edmonton, 1997, Montreal, 1998-2001)
– Anwar Stewart, Defensive Quality Control Coach (DE, Calgary, 2001, 2012, Montreal, 2002-11, 2013)
– Jason Maas, Offensive Coordinator, QB Coach (QB, Edmonton, 2000-05, 2008-11, Hamilton, 2006-07, Montreal, 2007)
– Mark Nelson, Defensive Coordinator (LB, FB, Calgary, 1980-85, Saskatchewan, 1986)
– Travis Moore, Receivers Coach (SB, Calgary, 1996-2002, Saskatchewan, 2003-05)
– Bryan Chiu, OL Coach (Centre, Montreal, 1997-2009)
– Leroy Blugh, DL Coach (DE, Edmonton, 1989-2000, Toronto, 2001-03)
– Ike Charlton, DB Coach (LB, Winnipeg, 2007-10, Montreal, 2010)
– Miles Gorrell, Canadian Scout, (OL Calgary 1978 -1982, Ottawa 1982, Montreal 1992-1995, Hamilton 1985-1991, Winnipeg 1992-1995)
Saskatchewan Roughriders
– Jacques Chapdelaine, Offensive Coordinator, QB Coach (SB, BC, 1983-84, Montreal, 1985-86, Hamilton, 1987-89, Calgary, 1989)
– Jeremaine Copeland, Receivers Coach (WR, Montreal, 2001-04, Calgary, 2005-09, Toronto, 2010-11)
– Avon Cobourne, RB Coach (RB, Montreal, 2006-10, Hamilton, 2011-12)
– Steve Mazurak, VP Sales and Partnerships (WR, SB, Saskatchewan, 1973-81)
Toronto Argonauts
– Scott Milanovich, Head Coach (QB, Calgary, 2003)
– Marcus Brady, Offensive Coordinator (QB, Toronto, 2002-03, Hamilton, 2004-05, Montreal, 2006-08)
– Jonathan Himebauch, OL Coach, Assistant Head Coach (OL, Toronto Argonauts, 1999)
– Jordan Younger, DB Coach (DB, Toronto, 2004-07, 2009-12, Edmonton, 2008)
– Michael “Pinball” Clemons, Vice-Chair, (KR, PR, SB, RB Toronto 1989 – 2000)
Winnipeg Blue Bombers
– Mike O’Shea, Head Coach (LB, Hamilton, 1993-95, 2000, Toronto, 1996-99, 2001-08)
– Markus Howell, Wide Receivers Coach (WR, Winnipeg, 2000-04, 2010, Ottawa, 2005, Calgary, 2006-09)
– Buck Pierce, RB Coach (QB, BC, 2005-09, 2013, Winnipeg, 2010-13)
– Richie Hall, Defensive Coordinator (DB, Calgary, 1983-87, Saskatchewan, 1988-1991)
– Barron Miles, DB Coach (CB, Montreal, 1998-2004, BC, 2005-09)
– Greg Knox, Linebackers Coach (DB, S, Calgary, 1992- 95, Hamilton, 1996-98)
– Wade Miller, President and CEO (FB, Winnipeg, 1995-2005)
– Kyle Walters, General Manager (DB, Hamilton, 1997-2003)
– Bob Cameron, Winnipeg Football Club, Board of Directors (Punter, Winnipeg 1980-2002)
– Danny McManus, Assistant General Manager, Director of U.S. Scouting (QB, Winnipeg, 1990-92, BC, 1993-95, Edmonton, 1996-97, 2006, Calgary, 2006, Hamilton, 1998-2005)

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