General manager of the Montreal Alouettes, Danny Maciocia, had big plans at the end of the 2022 CFL season as far as the head coach of the team was concerned. The Als had a disappointing end to the season, so as often is the case in sports (and in life), the organization was all about looking to the future with hope. But before they could do that, a new head coach needed to be named, and the plan was to name one before Christmas.
Well, as of this writing, that new coach has indeed been named and the plans set forth by Maciocia and company have been met, but how do fans feel about the decision?
Maciocia said a few weeks back:
“I’m not prepared to do both jobs…I am more than convinced that I don’t want to do this moving forward. Even with the exit meetings, there have been players that have mentioned it to me and there are a lot of assistant coaches that would like for me to keep doing this for the sake of continuity and as far as how we finished the season. I’m a firm believer that this is a job for two people. That’s where my focus lies…
We’re open to hiring someone from within or outside of the organization…We want the best candidate moving forward. As I have stated since Mario and I were hired in Jan. 2020, all things being equal, yeah, we’d like to have someone from within, but it all has to be everything being equal. If it’s bilingual, it’s bilingual. If it’s English, it’s English. We definitely want to hire the best candidate available moving forward.”
In the end he went with Jason Maas; he of course was the defensive coordinator over in Saskatchewan, a post he held for the last two years. Interestingly enough he was also the head coach for Edmonton from 2016 and 2019.
But going into the aforementioned deliberations, fans and Alouettes players, and others in the organization remember well the reputation that Maas has. CFL fans across the board will do well to remember his penchant for explosive behavior. Many are wondering if it is a concern or should be.
Maciocia isn’t worried however.
“He’s still young and has a huge upside…The last two years (in Saskatchewan) were a factor I considered. You’re in a hotbed of football. I watched the way he handled this year from a distance. He was calm, cool and collected…
There was some stuff he controlled and might do differently. Others, he had no control over. He’s definitely battle tested. That was one of the boxes he was able to check off in terms of handling adversity. I’ve seen him go through it and have the answer.”
-via Montreal Gazette
And what did Maas have to say about the opportunity?
“In this business, true friends can be hard to come by… When you can trust someone like I trust Danny, that’s what it’s all about. I’m excited about being with him…You believe and expect to win. Pressure? That’s pro sports…
Pressure creates an environment that’s fun to work in at times. You want expectations to be high. You want people to have accountability. I have broad shoulders. I’ll deflect credit and take blame. I know who will get blamed if our offence doesn’t function, and I’m not worried about that.”
-via Montreal Gazette (link above)
The Als need investors…
Gary Stern, who is a minority partner with the Als, is looking for investors moving forward. The team has seen increases in ticket sales since 2021 and even ratings on TV—French TV—and even radio interest has increased and increased big, but still, Stern says that they can only go up from here, but for that to happen even more of an investment needs to be made.
“We have been looking for good, solid, French-Canadian partners who really understand Montreal and the province…I want them to step forward and call me. If that’s there, we are wide open to taking in partners…
I’m looking for French-Canadian partners connected in the community who have a better feeling for the vibe, and we think that’s important. Whether it’s 10 per cent or 90 per cent, we are wide open to talk.”
Of course Mario Cecchini, the former president of the team was let go, and a new president is still to be named. In addition to the statements about investors, Stern went into the process moving forward for a new president:
“Unfortunately, in the end it was mutual that it was best we move on…I’m not going to elaborate on what that means, and I wish him the best…We’re going to start a process shortly of hiring a new president of the Alouettes and we will allow Danny (Maciocia) real input into that…
The president will come in and inherit a really good football team and can move it along and keep it operating with a balanced budget. The interview process will start within two weeks. It will be done in a good manner and there are tremendous candidates out there…
We see Danny as the real leader of the Montreal Alouettes. He went out and hired a great coach in Jason Maas whom he thinks will be a great fit for the team…He’s put together a team of people he likes and who know his system. I keep saying to Danny ‘thank you.’ I really believe he’s going to bring the Grey Cup to Montreal.”
-via TSN (link above)
More praise for Maciocia amidst all these changes. In the end though, Als fans want nothing more than these changes to mean something and mean something big by the time the 2023 season gets under way. I’ll keep you posted on Als news as it develops, dear readers.
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