South Pittsburg, TN-(WDEF-TV) New South Pittsburg football coach Chris Jones has a unique resume.
He coached in the Canadian Football League.
When Jones was coaching at Tennessee Tech, he befriended a CFL scout.
Next thing you know, Jones worked for nearly two decades in the CFL, even serving as a head coach for Saskatchewan and Edmonton.
Said Jones:”You know when you say you’re coaching in Canada, they think you’re coaching in Mars you know. (chuckles) You might as well be.”
Heck it may be warmer on Mars than Canada.
Said Jones:”I guess the coldest games I was ever involved with were both the Saskatchuwan-Calgary games. I think it was ’09 and ’10. I mean it was -38 to -42 Celsius. The balls. The punter would punt the balls, and they would burst. The bladders would burst.”
Besides the weather, Jones had to adjust to a completely different game.
Said Jones:”Again there’s six guys that can be in motion. There’s 12 guys on the field, so it makes it very interesting for an American guy. There’s a lot of the aspects that quite honestly that would be good in the U.S. game. I mean no fair catch. Rule the last touch. There’s a lot of things where you got to bring every kick out of the end zone or you give up a point.”
In his 17 years in the CFL, Jones enjoyed Tom Brady like success, going to seven Grey Cups, winning four. He even brought the Grey Cup to South Pitt in 2016. One thing Jones did not bring back was much knowledge of the Canadian French language.
Said Jones:”I learned about two words. (chuckles) General niceties like merci. You get to know that one. In a cab. Lagos. Lagos. Other than that not a lot.”
Jones is fluent in football, and the CFL fulfilled a life long dream.
Said Jones:”I always wanted to be a head football coach, and it’s something that I always loved. I love football. When you grow up in this town, that’s what you do. You play football. Getting an opportunity to be a head football coach at that level was really a lot of fun. Very challenging but a lot of fun.”