REGINA — Craig Dickenson is thrilled to have a man with four years of CFL head coaching experience guiding the Saskatchewan Roughriders offence.
The Roughriders head coach has made a change at offensive co-ordinator, hiring recently fired Edmonton Eskimos bench boss Jason Maas to take over from Stephen McAdoo.
"I appreciate having a guy that’s been there, done that and I’ll lean on him heavily," Dickenson, entering his second year as head coach, said at a news conference on Friday.
Dickenson said he decided McAdoo would no longer be in the position before picking Maas to fill the role.
Maas received a two-year contract.
"The reality is he’s a proven winner," Dickenson said. "We just felt like it was too good of an opportunity to pass up."
Maas was fired by Edmonton last month. The Eskimos finished fourth in the West this year before upsetting Montreal in the East semifinal and losing to Hamilton in the division final.
The former quarterback was 39-33 in four seasons as head coach, but the Eskimos never advanced to the Grey Cup game during his tenure.
Maas said being a head coach again is "the furthest thing" from his thoughts. He joins a Roughriders team that finished first in the West this year before dropping the division final against the eventual Grey Cup champion Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
"I’m just really excited to be a part of Rider Nation," he said. "You hear about it, I think everyone knows about it. It’s a bucket list thing if you’re a CFL guy that you want an opportunity to coach here one day."
Maas was linked to coaching and co-ordinator openings in Ottawa and B.C., before the hiring in Saskatchewan. McAdoo also has had his name attached to many of the same jobs.
Maas will work closely with Roughriders quarterback Cody Fajardo, named the West’s top player this year in his first season as starter.
"He’s talented, he can run the ball, he can throw the ball. he’s tough as hell," Maas said.
The Roughriders also announced defensive co-ordinator Jason Shivers has received a two-year contract extension.