Popp and Trest­man team up again, in Toronto

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS -

TORONTO — Jim Popp and Marc Trest­man are to­gether again.

Two sources said Mon­day the Toronto Arg­onauts have agree­ments in prin­ci­ple for Popp and Trest­man to be­come the CFL club’s GM and head coach, re­spec­tively. But only Popp is ex­pected to meet with re­porters Tues­day morn­ing at BMO Field.

Popp was pho­tographed sit­ting with Larry Ta­nen­baum dur­ing the Toronto Maple Leafs’ 5-4 over­time win over the Win­nipeg Jets on Feb. 21 at the Air Canada Cen­tre. Ta­nen­baum is chair of Maple Leafs Sports And En­ter­tain­ment, which owns the Leafs, but he is also the Ar­gos’ coowner.

Ar­gos spokesper­son Jamie Dyk­stra de­clined com­ment Mon­day. Popp did not im­me­di­ately re­spond to a mes­sage from The Cana­dian Press.

Popp spent 21 sea­sons as the Mon­treal Alou­ettes gen­eral man­ager (1996-2016), lead­ing the fran­chise to eight Grey Cup ap­pear­ances, win­ning three. Two of those ti­tles came with Trest­man as the club’s head coach (2009-10).

Popp hired Trest­man as Mon­treal’s head coach in 2008. The move paid off im­me­di­ately as Trest­man led the Alou­ettes to a Grey Cup ap­pear­ance in his first sea­son, los­ing 2214 to Cal­gary at Olympic Sta­dium.

Dur­ing Trest­man’s ten­ure, Mon­treal fin­ished atop the East Di­vi­sion four times, post­ing a 59-31 reg­u­lar-sea­son record and a 5-3 play­off mark. Trest­man was hired as the Chicago Bears head coach in 2013, a post he held for two sea­sons be­fore be­ing fired af­ter com­pil­ing a 13-19 over­all record.

The Bal­ti­more Ravens hired Trest­man to be their of­fen­sive co-or­di­na­tor but fired him in De­cem­ber af­ter just 21 reg­u­lar-sea­son games on the job.

Toronto fin­ished last in the East Di­vi­sion last sea­son — their first un­der new own­er­ship and play­ing at a revamped BMO Field — with a dis­mal 5-13 record. How­ever, the club waited un­til Jan. 24 to fire GM Jim Barker, who still has two years re­main­ing on his CFL con­tract.

Toronto’s off-sea­son plight wors­ened three days later when head coach Scott Mi­lanovich — who served as Trest­man’s of­fen­sive co-or­di­na­tor in Mon­treal — re­signed to be­come the quar­ter­backs coach with the NFL’s Jack­sonville Jaguars.

The moves left as­sis­tant GM Spencer Zim­mer­man to lead Toronto into the start of CFL free agency Feb. 14.

While the tim­ing of the moves is hardly ideal, the ad­di­tion of Popp and Trest­man cer­tainly gives the Ar­gos a proven com­mod­ity on and off the field.

Popp has es­tab­lished him­self as one of the CFL’s top gen­eral man­agers, also earn­ing a Grey Cup ring in 1995 as the Bal­ti­more Stal­lions gen­eral man­ager. In 2011, he was named ex­ec­u­tive of the year by Sports Me­dia Canada.

NATHAN DENETTE, THE CANA­DIAN PRESS

Jim Popp, left, and Marc Trest­man have agreed in prin­ci­ple to join­ing the Toronto Arg­onauts as gen­eral man­ager and head coach, re­spec­tively.

PAUL CHI­AS­SON, THE CANA­DIAN PRESS

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