Sask. Roughriders shake up coaching staff after losing season

Craig Dickenson will remain as head coach of the Saskatchewan Roughriders, but three other coaches will not be returning next season. (Heywood Yu/The Canadian Press - image credit)
Craig Dickenson will remain as head coach of the Saskatchewan Roughriders, but three other coaches will not be returning next season. (Heywood Yu/The Canadian Press - image credit)

The Saskatchewan Roughriders are making changes to the team's coaching staff after winning only six of 18 games this season.

Head coach Craig Dickenson remains on contract through 2023, but offensive co-ordinator Jason Maas has been "relieved of his duties," the CFL team said in a Tuesday news release.

Run game co-ordinator/offensive line coach Stephen Sorrells and receivers coach Travis Moore will not have their contracts renewed.

Vice-president of football operations Jeremy O'Day said in the news release that Dickenson is "a strong leader" who "truly represents the values of the Saskatchewan Roughrider Football Club."

O'Day is also slated to stay on through 2023.

At a news conference Tuesday, Riders CEO Craig Reynolds was asked why Dickenson and O'Day are staying, while others aren't.

"I think when you have somebody in-house who has been through the year that we just went through, he understands best what needs to be done and how we go about [fixing] that," Reynolds said of O'Day.

Dickenson said he sat down with O'Day and other staff to go through what changes need to happen for the team, and said offence was a weak spot this season.

"I feel like we've done a good job here. But I understand that you're judged on wins and losses and I can live with the decisions that are made regarding my future. They decided that I was worth bringing back," he told reporters Tuesday.

O'Day said the team started the year out on a good note, but struggled later.

"At the end of the day, I still believe in coach Dickenson as a coach. I feel like he's a very good football coach," O'Day said.

"I feel like he obviously [deserves] an opportunity to come back with the success that he's had in the past, and I just really still believe in him."

Quarterback Cody Fajardo's future with the team is also uncertain after the tough season.

"I gave everything I had," said Fajardo on Sunday, as he cleaned out his locker.

Fajardo watched from the sidelines on Saturday night as backup quarterback to Mason Fine as the Riders lost their last regular season game 36-10.

"I felt like the way the season played out was a little sickening for me, a little frustrating after giving everything I had for three years," Fajardo said of being relegated to the backup role the final two games.