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Roughriders hire Argos DC Mace as new coach

Corey Mace Toronto Argonauts Corey Mace - Getty Images

REGINA — The Saskatchewan Roughriders have hired Corey Mace to be the team's next head coach, the team announced Thursday.

Mace spent the last two seasons as defensive co-ordinator for the Toronto Argonauts, helping the team to a Grey Cup in 2022 and a 16-2 record this past season.

He succeeds Craig Dickenson as Saskatchewan's head coach. The Riders announced Dickenson would not have his contract renewed on Oct. 23 after Saskatchewan went 6-12 and missed the playoffs for a second consecutive season.

Dickenson had been the Riders head coach since 2019.

“Saskatchewan is an incredibly special place, and I could not be more excited to be the next head coach of this storied franchise,” Mace said in a release. “I am committed to bringing Rider Nation a team they can be proud of both on and off the field, and to give back to this province that gives our organization so much."

The Roughriders were scheduled to introduce Mace at a press conference Friday morning in Regina.

The 37-year-old 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.

Mace was selected by the Winnipeg Blue Bombers out of the University of Wyoming in the second round of the 2007 CFL draft but played his first three pro seasons with the NFL's Buffalo Bills before joining Calgary.

“From the get-go, Corey blew me away with his strong vision to lead the Saskatchewan Roughriders, his exceptional communication skills and his laser-focus on winning,” Roughriders vice president of football operations and general manager Jeremy O’Day said in a release.

“But beyond his proven record as a top coach in the CFL, he also demonstrated a deep understanding of Saskatchewan and its people and a commitment to give back to our community. I am thrilled to welcome him and his family to the Roughriders and to get to work on a successful 2024 season.”

The hiring of Mace means Buck Pierce will likely stay as offensive co-ordinator of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Pierce was reportedly a finalist for the Saskatchewan job, and Bombers general manager Kyle Walters said Wednesday he was preparing for Pierce's possible departure.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 30, 2023.