Saskatchewan Roughriders name Jeremy O’Day as teams new General Manager

The Saskatchewan Roughriders have promoted Jeremy O’Day to GM and vice-president of football operations.

The Riders made the move Friday prior to president/CEO Craig Reynolds’s news conference. O’Day replaces Chris Jones, who resigned Tuesday as Saskatchewan’s head coach, defensive co-ordinator, GM and vice-president of football operations to become an assistant coach with the NFL’s Cleveland Browns.

“I am very pleased to announce Jeremy O’Day as the franchises next general manager,” Reynolds said in a statement. “Jeremy is a true leader and highly respected throughout the CFL.

“I have complete confidence he will continue to guide our team in the right direction. He is a quality person and more than ready to assume this position.”

This is O’Day’s second tenure as the Riders’ GM. He was named to the post Aug. 31, 2015 on an interim basis, holding the position for the final nine games of that season.

“First of all, I want to thank Craig Reynolds and the entire organization for the support and opportunity to be named the club’s general manager,” O’Day said. “I am excited to get to work and look forward to the challenges and successes that are ahead.”

Saskatchewan improved steadily under Jones, registering five, 10 and 12 regular-season wins in each of his three seasons. Jones, a 51-year-old native of South Pittsburgh, Tenn., was named the CFL’s coach of the year in 2018 after a 12-6 season, but the Riders lost 23-18 to the visiting Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the West Division semifinal.

O’Day doesn’t have the luxury of time to celebrate his promotion. The Riders still need to hire a head coach and defensive co-ordinator and CFL free agency begins Feb. 12.

A major priority for the Riders will be a top-flight quarterback with veterans Zach Collaros and Canadian Brandon Bridge both scheduled to hit the open market next month.

O’Day, 44, is entering his 21st season of consecutive service with the Roughriders. The six-foot-three, 300-pound former offensive lineman moved into Saskatchewan’s front office as its football operations co-ordinator upon retiring in February 2011.

After spending four years as the club’s assistant GM, O’Day was named interim vice-president of football operations and GM in 2015.

O’Day began his CFL career in 1997 with the Toronto Argonauts, winning a Grey Cup in his first pro season. In 1999, he signed with Saskatchewan as a free agent and spent 12 seasons with the Riders.

O’Day, a native of Buffalo, N.Y., who played collegiately at Edinboro University, started 202 regular-season games with Saskatchewan. He also appeared in 16 playoff games and three Grey Cups, winning in 2007.

O’Day, a married father of three children, won his third CFL title in 2013 as a member of Saskatchewan’s front office.

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