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Chris Jones returns to Edmonton as Elks head coach and GM

The Edmonton Elks have hired Chris Jones as the new head coach and general manager. Global News

The Edmonton Elks have announced Chris Jones is the new head coach and general manager in a four-year deal.

“This is the right situation for myself, the right situation for the team,” Jones said.

Board chair Ian Murray said the recommendation to hire Jones went to the board Monday night and was passed unanimously.

“It’s been clear through our research and the interview process that he knows football as well as anybody we had the opportunity to talk to,” Murray said.

“This is now the first proactive step to turn around the problems that we’ve had and I’m very confident that things will go well from an operational perspective and we’re going to start winning football games.”

The familiar face was Edmonton’s head coach when the team won the Grey Cup in 2015. One week later, the Saskatchewan Roughriders confirmed Jones was heading to that organization.

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Read more: Edmonton head coach Chris Jones headed to Saskatchewan

“I was fortunate with Edmonton. They gave me my first opportunity to be a head coach,” Jones said at the time.

“When an opportunity like this presents itself you have to jump on it.”

Fans weren’t happy when Jones left in 2015, but the Tenneessee native has committed to staying for the entire contract.

“What I’d like to do is return this organization back to where it should be and have a lot of fun doing it with a lot of great coaches and players and develop a lot of young players and coaches.”

While in Saskatchewan, Jones led the Roughriders to improved records each season which landed him the coach of the year award in 2018.

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An 18-season veteran,  Jones has a 53-37 regular season coaching record. His best season came in 2015 when he guided Edmonton to a 14-4 regular season and a Grey Cup win.

Edmonton head coach Chris Jones, left, and Adarius Bowman celebrate with the Grey Cup trophy after defeating the Ottawa Redblacks to win the 103rd Grey Cup in Winnipeg, Man. Sunday, Nov. 29, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

The hunt for a new Elks head coach and GM began in November after the team fired president and CEO Chris Presson, GM and vice president of football operations Brock Sunderland and head coach Jaimie Elizondo after a 3-11 dismal season.

Read more: Edmonton Elks clean house: Presson, Sunderland and Elizondo fired after dismal football season

Jones said one of the first things he’ll do is to surround himself with “good people” who know their roles as the team continues to rebuild on and off the field.

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