As elated as he is to remain on-board with the Saskatchewan Roughriders, Kent Maugeri appreciates an accompanying opportunity to call Marc Mueller a coaching colleague.
Maugeri, who returns as the Roughriders’ Special Teams Co-ordinator, is excited to welcome Ron Lancaster’s 34-year-old grandson as the new Offensive Co-ordinator.
“It’s pretty cool — pretty sweet,” Maugeri says. “His grandfather’s got a statue outside the stadium that I walk past every day. It has got to be awesome and super-rewarding for Marc as well.
“I’ve spoken with him before and he’s super-bright. He’s going to do a great job.”
Maugeri and Mueller have signed two-year contracts to work alongside newly appointed Head Coach Corey Mace, who will assume the dual role of Defensive Co-ordinator.
Whereas Maugeri has been a member of the Roughriders’ coaching staff since 2016, Mueller is poised to immerse himself in his first formal association with the team for which his legendary grandfather was the starting quarterback (1963 to 1978) and Head Coach (1979 and 1980).
Lancaster and fellow Roughriders icon George Reed are honoured with statues that are located near the coaches’ entrance.
“It’ll be really neat to explain to my children, as they get older, how important my grandfather was to the province and how important our good friend George was as well, and how important they still are,” Mueller says.
“It’s really cool for myself and my family to come back to a place that has meant so much to our family and a place where some of our family is remembered.”
Mueller, who was born and raised in Regina, starred at quarterback for the Sheldon-Williams Spartans and University of Regina Rams.
In 2013, Mueller began his coaching career when he mentored the Rams’ quarterbacks. He joined the Calgary Stampeders’ coaching staff the following year.
While in Calgary, Mueller got to know Mace as the Roughriders’ future field boss wound down a playing career and made a quick, seamless transition into coaching.
One of Mace’s first major moves in his new capacity was to extend an offer to Mueller, whose most-recent role with the Stampeders was that of Quarterbacks Coach.
“I’m really grateful for the opportunity from Craig (Reynolds, President-CEO) and Jeremy (O’Day, General Manager and Vice-President of Football Operations) and obviously from Corey as well,” Mueller says.
“To be able to become part of the Rider organization, which has meant so much to my family and in the place where I grew up and with some really great people, it’s a great opportunity. I’m really thankful for it and I can’t wait to get to work.”
The grandfather-grandson connection is well-documented, but Mueller’s ties to the organization extend much further.
His father, Larry Mueller, was the Roughriders’ Assistant GM for three-plus years, beginning with what turned out to be the championship season of 1989.
“My mom, Lana, worked in the player parking for a number of years at the old stadium,” Mueller adds. “My wife, Jenaya, was a cheerleader for the team from 2007 to 2013 and then coached the team in 2014 and 2015 — until I fooled her into moving to Calgary with me in the fall of 2016.
“It means a lot to the family, and not just to the one side. It means a lot to both sides.”
Marc and Jenaya have two children. Their daughter, Sawyer, turns five on Jan. 3. Their son, Wallace, celebrated his first birthday on Oct. 31.
Kent and Cathy Maugeri are also proud parents — to Blaine (age 10), Kylie (8) and Kaden (5).
Maugeri joined the Roughriders as a Quality Control Coach in 2016. He was the Running Backs Coach for the next three seasons before transitioning into special teams. He has spent two full seasons as the Special Teams Co-ordinator.
Originally from Mahopac, N.Y., Maugeri joined the Roughriders after spending eight seasons on the coaching staff at Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Mo.
Like Maugeri, Mueller has embraced a number of coaching portfolios.
In Calgary, he was a Defensive Assistant (2014), Running Backs Coach (2015-19) and Quarterbacks Coach (2020-23). Along the way, he shared in Grey Cup championship celebrations in 2014 and 2018.
“I couldn’t be more grateful to everybody in Calgary,” Mueller says. “It truly is a really hard place to leave. It’s a great place to work. I’ve made lifelong friends.
“I’m forever grateful for the phone call I got from (Head Coach) Dave Dickenson in February of 2014 when I was working for Molson. Then there was the phone call I got right after that from (then Defensive Co-ordinator) Rich Stubler and the phone call I got a week later from (GM) John Hufnagel.
“In a matter of about three or four days, my life changed really quickly. Everything I wanted to do was coach — and coach in the CFL.”