- Free Agency
EDMONTON — The Edmonton Eskimos’ search for a head coach is officially over, as the team announced Monday that it has hired Jason Maas to become the 21st head coach in franchise history.
Maas spent last season as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach with the Ottawa REDBLACKS. Under his guidance, Henry Burris was the league’s leading passer and the CFL’s Most Outstanding Player. As well, Ottawa led the league in offensive yards, passing yards and rushing touchdowns and four receivers recorded 1,000-plus yard seasons en route to competing in the 103rd Grey Cup championship game.
Prior to coaching in Ottawa, Maas served four seasons with Toronto as the receivers coach (2011) and quarterbacks coach (2012-14). He was a member of the Argonauts 100th Grey Cup Championship coaching staff.
Maas returns to the Green and Gold where the former quarterback spent nine seasons (2000-05, 2008-10). He was twice named the Eskimos Most Outstanding Player (2001, 2004) and was a member two Eskimos Grey Cup championship teams (2003, 2005). In 2001, he earned West All-Star honours. In 2004, he set the CFL record for consecutive completions in a game with 22.
He also spent time with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats (2006-07) and Montreal Alouettes (2007).
Maas was rumoured to be one of the top candidates from the start to replace Chris Jones, who was officially introduced as the head coach and general manager of the Saskatchewan Roughriders on Dec. 7.
The former CFL pivot for the Eskimos and Hamilton Tiger-Cats was a driving force on a REDBLACKS offence that led the league in total yards, helping Ottawa go from a two-win season in 2014 to reaching the 103rd Grey Cup presented by Shaw in 2015.
The Eskimos are coming off a 26-20 victory in the Grey Cup against those same REDBLACKS, capping off a 14-4 season in which they won the West Division and won 10 consecutive games to finish off the year.
Maas works with Argos pivot Ricky Ray during his time as a quarterback coach in Toronto.
Hamilton Tiger-Cats defensive coordinator Orlondo Steinauer was considered the other top candidate for the job according to various reports. The Winnipeg Sun‘s Kirk Penton reported that Steinauer was allowed to interview for the job in Edmonton after some resistance from the team.
As for Maas, the REDBLACKS are reportedly seeking compensation from Edmonton for his departure. TSN‘s Gary Lawless tweeted Monday that the REDBLACKS and Eskimos would hold a conference call presided by the CFL to discuss potential compensation.
Maas was under contract with Ottawa and received permission from the REDBLACKS to interview for the vacant position.
Maas played five seasons with the University of Oregon Ducks (1994-98).
In 2004, Maas became the second Eskimos quarterback in club history to pass for 5,000+ yards in a single season. Maas retired as an Edmonton Eskimo on May 26, 2011.
Head Coach, Edmonton Eskimos
Offensive Coordinator and Quarterbacks Coach, Ottawa REDBLACKS.
Receivers Coach, Toronto Argonauts
Quarterbacks Coach, Toronto Argonauts