SFU football continues search for new coach

SFU Athletics now have two candidates to replace Jacques Chapdelaine Image Credit: Austin Cozicar /The Peak
SFU Athletics now have two candidates to replace Jacques Chapdelaine        Image Credit: Austin Cozicar /The Peak
SFU Athletics now have two candidates to replace Jacques Chapdelaine.                  Image Credit: Austin Cozicar /The Peak

Just a few days ago, it appeared as if SFU football had already picked their new coach — various reports indicated that SFU had chosen Williamette College head coach Glen Fowles to take over for the recently departed Jacques Chapdelaine. Fowles was on a shortlist of three candidates, which included Hamilton Tiger Cats special teams coordinator Jeff Reinebold and Malone University offensive coordinator Joel Penner.

However, SFU remains without a new head coach, and all three of these candidates are now off the table. While it is true that Fowles made it past Reinebold and Penner in the selection process, according to an SFU Athletics source, he was never formally offered a contract. Athletics director Milt Richards broke off talks with Fowles before an offer was made.

Though not referring to the candidates by name, Richards told The Peak Thursday that “at this point, I just didn’t feel that the three were the exact right fit for what we want, and we’ve got a very deep pool so we’re talking to some other candidates.”

As of right now, the two candidates for the job are Khari Jones and Kelly Bates, neither of whom are strangers to Greater Vancouver area, having both played and coached for the BC Lions.

Jones was most notably the offensive coordinator for the BC Lions last season. However, he was demoted to receivers coach as a casualty of the team’s coaching change.

Bates was the running backs coach of the BC Lions from 2012 up until this January — another victim of the coaching change. As well, he served as the Lions’ draft coordinator. The two candidates spent last season on the same coaching staff.

Both candidates’ coaching experience has been mainly in the CFL — neither has held a coaching position at a university football program.

As well, both Bates and Jones have a connection to former coach Jacques Chapdelaine. Chapdelaine was the offensive coordinator of the BC Lions prior to Jones, meaning that should Jones get the job, this would be the second position wherein Jones has replaced Chapdelaine. Bates both played for and coached alongside Chapdelaine during his time as a BC Lion.

Jones has an interview today (Friday), and Bates interviews on Monday. Richards stated Thursday, “Hopefully by the end of next week or so, we’ll have a new coach.”