Jones opts out of Als coaching race, extends with Argos
TORONTO — The Toronto Argonauts announced today that Assistant General Manager/Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator Chris Jones has elected to withdraw his candidacy for the vacant head coaching position in Montreal and extend his contract with the Argonauts.
“I would like to thank the Montreal Alouettes organization, especially Bob Wetenhall and Jim Popp, for their consideration. I would also like to thank the Toronto Argonauts, specifically Scott Milanovich, Jim Barker, Chris Rudge and David Braley, for allowing me to remain with, and commit to, this team,” said Jones.
“After some deliberation, it became apparent that Toronto was the best place for me. We’ve started something great here and I think that, with the players and coaches we have in place, there is an opportunity to build on our championship and contend for the Grey Cup every year.” In his first year with the Argonauts, Jones led a young and dynamic defence to victory in the 100th Grey Cup championship game. Earning a reputation for being aggressive and stingy, Jones’ defensive unit was amongst the top of the league in a handful of categories during the regular season including: fewest first downs allowed (206), average yards passing allowed per game (269), most interceptions (24) and touchdowns scored (5).
“Chris Jones is a proven winner, and his ability to coordinate dominant defences cannot be questioned. His leadership, commitment and passion for the game had a tremendous impact on our football team in 2012. I believe his time to be a head coach will come sooner rather than later, but I am very thankful, and excited, to have him back this season,” said Milanovich.
Jones is credited with the development of standout defensive players such as DB Pacino Horne, who scored a touchdown in the 100th Grey Cup game, LB Marcus Ball who, as a rookie, was named the Argos Outstanding Defensive Player, and DB Pat Watkins who tied for the team lead in interceptions (5) in 2012. In fact, of the 12 Argos starters on defence in the 100th Grey Cup game, five (5) of them had never played a single snap in the CFL prior to the 2012 season.
Commented Argonauts’ General Manager Jim Barker, “Retaining high quality personnel and securing long-term stability are two important cornerstones of any winning franchise. I believe we’ve achieved both with this announcement. Chris Jones is one of the best defensive minds in football, as well as an outstanding evaluator of talent, and I’m excited he’ll be with our Club for the future.”
During the eleven years that Jones has patrolled CFL sidelines, his teams have never missed the playoffs. Jones has had stops in Montreal, Calgary and Toronto, coaching in eight division finals and winning three Grey Cups (Montreal, 2002; Calgary, 2008; Toronto, 2012).