Reed looks to Esks history

GERRY MODDEJONGE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 6:53 PM ET

Looking ahead to a new Edmonton Eskimos season with a new head coach won’t happen without taking a long look back at the franchise’s past.

The Eskimos officially announced the hiring of Kavis Reed at a press conference Friday afternoon, making the former all-star Green and Gold defensive back — who played from 1995-2000 — a CFL head coach for the first time.

“This franchise, when I entered it in 1995, is one that is of a great past,” Reed said. “We are looking forward to making certain that the future is just as bright as the past has been.

“I understand the tradition here, I understand the expectations here, I understand that we are going to build a culture that is reflective of the Eskimos of the past, where you are afraid to be the weak link and you are excited about being a part of the process.”

After spending the past 10 years in various assistant coaching roles, Reed becomes the 19th head coach of the Eskimos on the heels of Richie Hall’s firing last month.

Reed, 37, who lives with his family in Edmonton in the off-season, is returning home year-round this time, after spending 2010 as the defensive co-ordinator with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. His squad allowed the second-fewest yards with an average of 344.6 per game in the regular season.

“I would like to thank everyone involved in the decision to bring me here, back home,” Reed said. “I am prepared to roll up my sleeves and help restore this franchise’s lustre.”

Although he never won a Grey Cup as a player, Reed was part of an Eskimos team that made the playoffs in each of his six seasons — contributing to a North American professional sports team record 34 consecutive seasons, which ended in 2006.

But since their last Grey Cup championship a year earlier, the Eskimos have missed the playoffs three out of the past five seasons.

– Moddejonge


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