December 16, 2014

Lions name Jeff Tedford their next head coach

Michael Pimentel/GoldenBearSports Staff

VANCOUVER — The BC Lions ended their head coaching search Friday, announcing that former CFL quarterback and coach Jeff Tedford will become the 25th head coach in team history. 

Tedford quarterbacked four teams during his CFL playing career, then coached on current BC Lions Vice President of Football Operations and General Manager Wally Buono’s coaching staff in Calgary from 1989 to 1991.

“Jeff has competed on football’s biggest stages and achieved great success,” said Buono. “It speaks volumes about our organization and our league that a coach of Jeff’s stature and appeal has chosen the Lions as his next great challenge.” 

The move comes less than a month after the team parted ways with Mike Benevides, the head coach from 2012 through 2014, after the Lions finished 9-9 this season and suffered a first-round exit at the hands of the Montreal Alouettes in the Eastern Semi-Final.

The 53-year-old was most recently a member of the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the offensive coordinator.

He spent 11 years as a college head coach with the California State Golden Bears, where he went 82-57 overall and is credited for helping Aaron Rodgers develop into a premier college and eventually NFL quarterback.

He finished with the most wins by a head coach in school history as well as five victories in eight postseason bowl appearances, a share of the PAC-10 title in 2006 and an NCAA ranking that reached as high as number two in 2007.

“I am excited and honoured to be the head coach of the BC Lions,” said Tedford. “The Canadian Football League has remained close to my heart since my days as a player and as an assistant in Calgary. Joining the Lions today is the beginning of a new chapter and I look forward to the challenge of bringing a championship to BC. My thanks go out to David Braley, Dennis Skulsky and of course Wally Buono for giving me this opportunity and I can’t wait to get started.”