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Argos announce 2020 coaching staff

TORONTO — The Toronto Argonauts have announced their coaching staff for the 2020 season who will work under head coach Ryan Dinwiddie.

Jarious Jackson has been named offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, Glen Young will be the defensive coordinator and Mark Nelson has been named special teams coordinator.

Kevin Eiben is back as linebackers coach and special teams assistant while the team has added Stephen McAdoo as offensive line coach, Markus Howell as receivers coach, Fred Reid as running backs coach, Mike Davis as defensive line coach, Ike Charlton as defensive backs coach and Merritt Bowden as assistant defence and special teams coach.

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Jackson joins the Argos staff after spending the last two seasons in BC as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. Previous to his time with the Leos, the former pivot was the QB coach and passing game coordinator for Saskatchewan in 2016 and 2017; two titles he also held with Edmonton in 2014 and 2015, helping guide Mike Reilly and the Esks to a 2015 Grey Cup championship — his first as a coach and fourth overall. The Mississippi native began his coaching career immediately following his playing days by taking over QB coach duties for the Lions in 2013.

Young spent the past four seasons coaching in Winnipeg, with the last two as linebackers and defensive line coach. The Scarborough, Ont., native helped the Bombers defence lead the league in rush yards allowed (64.2/game) and guided defensive lineman Willie Jefferson to his first Most Outstanding Defensive Player award in 2019. Young was a key part of the Bombers defence in 2018 that led the league in sacks (45), forced turnovers (49) and finished second in the CFL in fewest points allowed (20.8/game). Before his time in Winnipeg, Young coached the defence at The College at Brockport after a stop at Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia as the linebackers and special teams coordinator.

Nelson, a coaching veteran of 28 years including 16 in the CFL, is coming off his sixth season in the nation’s capital as the REDBLACKS linebackers coach and was also the team’s defensive coordinator from 2014-2017, winning a Grey Cup with the team in 2016. Previous to Ottawa, Nelson made coaching stops in Montreal (2013), Edmonton (2010-2012) and Winnipeg (2009) where he coached linebackers and was the defensive coordinator in ’09 and ’12. Between 1997 and 2008, the Edmonton, Alberta native coached various positions on defence and special teams in the U.S. college ranks with Louisville, Tulsa, Baylor, Kentucky, Arkansas Tech and Valdosta State. Nelson began his coaching career in the CFL in Edmonton where he coached special teams, linebackers and running backs from 1992-1994, winning two Grey Cups, before moving to the San Antonio Texans in 1995 and Toronto in 1996, where he would win another championship.

Eiben is back for his fourth season on the Double Blue coaching staff and will once again coach linebackers and assist with special teams, something he is familiar with after serving as the Argos special teams coordinator from 2017-2018. Previous to his time coaching in the CFL, the British Columbia native was the defensive coordinator at the University of Toronto from 2014-2016 and the DC at McMaster University in 2013. Eiben spent 11 seasons as a linebacker in Toronto and ranks second in CFL history for tackles by a Canadian player and his 113 tackles in 2005 is still a league record for tackles in a season by a Canadian. A fourth-round draft selection by Toronto in 2001, Eiben would go on to be a three-time CFL All-Star and five-time East All-Star as well as being named the Argos Most Outstanding Player in 2004, a year they went on to win the Grey Cup. Eiben would finish his career in Hamilton in 2012.

McAdoo just finished his fourth season in Saskatchewan as assistant head coach and offensive coordinator, helping Riders’ QB Cody Fajardo become the league’s passing yards leader and William Powell finish second in rush yards and leading all running backs with 12 touchdowns. McAdoo’s offence finished third in the CFL in rushing in 2019 and second in 2018 with over 2,000 rush yards each year. Before joining the Riders, the Tennessee native spent two years as offensive coordinator in Edmonton (2014-2015) guiding Mike Reilly and the Eskimos to a 2015 Grey Cup championship. McAdoo returns to Toronto after a four-year stint as the Argos offensive line coach and run game coordinator from 2010-2013, helping the Boatmen lead the league in rushing in 2011 and winning the Grey Cup on home soil in 2012.

McAdoo’s first foray into CFL coaching came with Montreal between 2003 and 2007 where he was offensive line and running backs coach as well as co-offensive coordinator. Before starting his CFL coaching career, McAdoo was the tight ends and offensive line coach at Middle Tennessee State (1999-2000) and tight ends coach at his alma mater, Middle Tennessee State (1996-1998).

Howell joins the Argos staff as receivers coach, coming over from BC where he spent the last two seasons in the same capacity. The Winnipeg native also coached pass catchers in Saskatchewan in 2016 and 2017 as well as Winnipeg from 2012 to 2015.

Reid will lead the Double Blue backfield in 2018, a position the sixth all-time leading rusher in Bomber history is familiar with. The former RB was the head coach at Middleton High School in Florida from 2014-2018. After a short playing stint with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2005 and the Mississippi Mudcats of the American Indoor Football Association in 2007, the Tampa native headed north to Winnipeg. After five seasons in blue and gold, Reid racked up 4,505 rushing yards and 22 touchdowns while being named an East All-Star three times (2008-2010) and a CFL All-Star in 2010, the same year he led the CFL in rushing with 1,396 yards.

Davis will be the team’s defensive line coach after four seasons in Saskatchewan. The Virginia native joined the ‘Riders in 2016 as Manager of Player Personnel until last season when he made the switch back to coaching, where his defensive line was integral in helping the Rider’s tie for the league lead in sacks (56) and finish second in rush yards allowed (92.6). The Virginia Tech alum spent six seasons as head coach of the Arena Football League’s Nebraska Danger (2010-2016), winning three straight conference championships.

Charlton joins the Argos as defensive backs coach, a title he held with the Ottawa REDBLACKS from 2014-2017, capturing a Grey Cup championship in 2016. The Orlando, Florida native spent 2019 as the DB’s and special teams coordinator at Lake Erie College and was the DB’s coach at Bedford High School in Ohio in 2018. The second-round pick of the Seattle Seahawks in 2000 played 53 games over six NFL seasons (2000-2005) with Seattle, Jacksonville, New York Giants, Oakland and New England, registering 81 tackles, two sacks, four forced fumbles, two interceptions and one defensive touchdown. The former DB joined the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in late 2005 and played six seasons in the ‘Peg tallying 223 tackles and four sacks with four playoff appearances and one Grey Cup showing. Charlton finished his career with Montreal in 2010.

Bowden will be the Argos Defensive and Special Teams Assistant this season after coaching in Saskatchewan from 2016-2018. The Alabama native coached the Riders’ defensive line in 2018, helping the defence finish second in the CFL in rush yards allowed (92.0/game).

Previously, Bowden coached Saskatchewan’s linebackers and was special teams assistant coach in 2017 as well as special teams assistant in 2016. The former minor league baseball player in the Atlanta Braves organization coached high school football from 1994-2015 with a two-year stop as a defensive assistant at Auburn University in 2004-2005.


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