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Riders confirm hiring of new head coach Corey Mace

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The Saskatchewan Roughriders have confirmed they’ve selected Toronto Argonauts defensive coordinator Corey Mace as the team’s 48th head coach.

“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 statement from the team Thursday afternoon.

“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.”

According to the team, Mace is currently in transit, on his way to Saskatchewan with his family.

“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,” Riders General Manager Jeremy O’Day said in the statement.

“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.”

TSN’s Farhan Lalji previously reported that the club had agreed to terms with Mace late Wednesday evening.

According to Lalji, the green and white had narrowed down its search between Mace and Winnipeg Blue Bombers offensive coordinator Buck Pierce on Tuesday.

Mace has been with the Argos since January 2022.

“I think in Corey Mace – the entire province of Saskatchewan is going to get somebody with tremendous leadership skills and big time presence,” Lalji told CTV Morning Live Saskatchewan. “He’s going to have the ability to command a locker room and demand accountability from his players.”

Prior to his time in Toronto, Mace spent 12 years with the Calgary Stampeders – serving six years as a player followed by another six as a defensive line coach.

As a player, Mace suited up for 40 games with the Stamps. He retired after missing the entire 2015 season due to an injury.

Originally from Port Moody, B.C., Mace has hoisted the Grey Cup in victory three times – in 2014 and 2018 as a Stampeder and in 2022 as an Argonaut.

The hiring marks the first time Mace will serve as a head coach in the CFL.

While only 37 years old, Lalji believes Mace’s presence will bring out the best in the Riders.

“This is a no brainer … having a players coach like Corey is going to bring even more top end players to Saskatchewan who are going to want to play for the guy,” he explained. “There’s a lot of speculation of how this went down – I believe that this was the favourite going into the process quite frankly.”

Lalji said he also expects the Stampeders current quarterbacks coach, Marc Mueller to join the Green and White’s ranks.

Mueller’s potential move would mark a return – as Mueller played six seasons with the University of Regina Rams from 2007-2012 and served as the Rams quarterbacks coach in 2013.

According to the Stamps, Mueller is the grandson of CFL Hall of Fame quarterback and Saskatchewan Roughrider legend Ron Lancaster.

In October, the Riders announced that they would not be renewing the contract of former head coach Craig Dickenson – who had served in the role since 2019.

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