New head coach Corey Mace ready to lead Roughriders
Corey Mace could not hide his smile as he was officially announced as the new head coach of the Saskatchewan Roughriders on Friday.
Mace, 37, spent the last two seasons as the defensive co-ordinator for the Toronto Argonauts, helping the team win a Grey Cup in 2022.
Mace was among several candidates interviewed by Roughriders general manager Jeremy O'Day.
"[O'Day] called me and he said, 'Hey, I'm in the team meeting room and I'm standing at the podium and I can't unsee you," Mace said Friday.
"I said, 'Hey, don't you start talking to me like that unless you mean it.'
"It was elation. It was a celebration. Quite honestly, it's still sinking in."
Mace is the 48th coach in Riders history and the first Canadian to lead the team in more than 20 years. He takes over a team that finished 6-12 in back-to-back years, missing the playoff each time.
He said he wants the team to reflect its fan base and community.
"We're gonna be a blue-collar, hard-working football team and fast, physical and smart. A product I would love for the fan base to come back and be extremely proud of."
Mace, from Port Moody, B.C., also won two Grey Cups with the Calgary Stampeders, once as a player (2014) and once as a defensive line coach (2018), before joining the Argos.
Mace played for the Stampeders from 2010 to 2015 before retiring and coaching the defensive line. He became the Argos DC in 2022. He played college ball at the University of Wyoming and for the NFL's Buffalo Bills.
Mace replaces Craig Dickenson, who did not have his contract renewed on Oct. 23.
O'Day said he interviewed Mace twice, for six hours the first time around.
"He made it be known right in the start and right at the end that he wanted to be the head coach of the Saskatchewan