Jeff Tedford hired as B.C. Lions' new head coach

The Lions announced Friday that Jeff Tedford has been named the team's 25th head coach in club history.

Played 6 seasons as CFL QB

Jeff Tedford has been a U.S. collegiate head coach and had a brief stint as an NFL offensive co-ordinator. (Harry How/Getty Images)

The Lions announced Friday that Jeff Tedford has been named the team's 25th head coach in club history.

Tedford played six seasons as a quarterback in the CFL with Hamilton, Calgary, Saskatchewan, and Winnipeg from 1983 to '88. He replaces Mike Benevides, who was fired following B.C.'s 50-17 loss to the Montreal Alouettes in the East Division semifinal.

“I am excited and honoured to be the head coach of the BC Lions,” said Tedford. “The Canadian Football League has remained close to my heart since my days as a player and as an assistant in Calgary. Joining the Lions today is the beginning of a new chapter and I look forward to the challenge of bringing a championship to BC."

Tedford, 53, will be reunited with GM Wally Buono with the Lions. Tedford served as an assistant under Buono with the Calgary Stampeders ('89-'91).       

“Jeff has competed on football’s biggest stages and achieved great success,” said Lions VP of football operations and GM Wally Buono. “It speaks volumes about our organization and our league that a coach of Jeff’s stature and appeal has chosen the Lions as his next great challenge.”

Earlier this year, Tedford was hired to be the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' offensive co-ordinator but left the team during the pre-season to undergo a heart procedure. That ultimately resulted in the two sides mutually agreeing to end his NFL deal, making Tedford available to join the Lions.

Tedford also served as the head coach at the University of California ('02-'12) and twice was named the Pac-10's top coach, winning the conference title in 2006.

With files from CBC Sports