Alou­ettes fire head coach, de­fence co-or­di­na­tor

The Welland Tribune - - NATIONAL -

BILL BEACON

MON­TREAL — The Mon­treal Alou­ettes fired head coach Jac­ques Chapde­laine and de­fen­sive co-or­di­na­tor/as­sis­tant head coach Noel Thorpe on Wed­nes­day.

The team said gen­eral man­ager Kavis Reed will serve as head coach un­til the end of the sea­son.

“This de­ci­sion was taken over the course of a few weeks,” Reed said at a morn­ing avail­abil­ity. “We had a meet­ing yes­ter­day. There’s never a right time.”

Quar­ter­backs coach Anthony Calvillo will take over of­fen­sive co-or­di­na­tor du­ties while de­fen­sive line coach Greg Quick will han­dle the de­fence.

The Alou­ettes are 3-8, have lost four games in a row, and sit third in the weak CFL East Divi­sion.

Reed said a new head coach would be in place for the 2018 cam­paign.

“Re­gard­less of what hap­pens, the fran­chise will have a head coach and it won’t be me,” he said.

The moves came a day af­ter team co-owner An­drew Weten­hall warned there may be changes if the club does not start win­ning games and make the play­offs for the first time in three years.

Chapde­laine was pro­moted to in­terim head coach when Jim Popp was re­moved last Septem­ber with the team mired in last place at 3-9. He took them to a 4-2 record over the fi­nal six games, but it was not enough to se­cure a play­off spot.

The in­terim tag on his job ti­tle was re­moved af­ter the sea­son, and Reed was handed the gen­eral man­ager’s job when Popp was fired.

Reed called Chapde­laine “a phe­nom­e­nal in­di­vid­ual,” but would not dis­cuss the rea­sons on why the changes were made.

Chapde­laine was the team’s fourth head coach since Marc Trest­man’s five-year stint ended af­ter the 2012 sea­son. Nei­ther Chapde­laine, Dan Hawkins, Tom Hig­gins or Popp could pro­duce a con­sis­tent win­ner.

Thorpe was with the Alou­ettes on and off since 2002. De­fence has been the team’s main strength since he took over as co-or­di­na­tor in 2013.

“Ev­ery­thing ’s rel­a­tive,” Reed said. “If it’s just OK, we’re not go­ing to be able to have the kind of team we want. Just OK is not enough. We felt our de­fence was good but never one you would call elite.”

It has been the of­fence, which Chapde­laine ran, that has strug­gled. The Alou­ettes were held to six points or fewer in two of their last four games.

DARRYL DYCK/THE CANA­DIAN PRESS

Then-Mon­treal Alou­ettes head coach Jac­ques Chapde­laine walks on the side­line dur­ing a Sept. 8 game against the B.C. Lions. The Alou­ettes have fired head coach Jac­ques Chapde­laine and de­fen­sive co-or­di­na­tor and as­sis­tant head coach Noel Thorpe.

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