Permission Granted: Als’ head coaching search begins
TORONTO — Montreal General Manager Jim Popp isn’t wasting any time in his search for Marc Trestman’s replacement on the Alouettes’ sideline.
Friday, Popp was granted permission by Argonauts General Manager Jim Barker to interview Defensive Coordinator Chris Jones about his team’s vacant head coaching position.
“The Montreal Alouettes have contacted us and requested permission to interview Chris Jones for their open Head Coach position. We have granted the Alouettes permission to speak with Coach Jones,” said Barker in a statement issued by the Argonauts.
Popp was also granted permission by the BC Lions to talk to their Offensive Coordinator Jacques Chapdelaine.
The position was made available on Tuesday when Trestman accepted a position with the NFL’s Chicago Bears, forcing the Als to look for a new Head Coach for the first time since 2008.
Should Jones be hired by the Alouettes, it will be his second stint in Montreal.
Jones served six seasons as a defensive line coach and defensive coordinator in Montreal (2002-07) and was a regarded as a frontrunner for the Alouettes’ job in 2008 that ultimately went to Trestman.
Jones has been part of three Grey Cup-winning teams and is widely regarded as one of the premier defensive minds in the CFL.
Chapdelaine, meanwhile, originally joined the Lions in 2003 as the team’s receivers coach. In 2005, he was promoted to offensive coordinator which culminated in a Grey Cup championship in 2006. After a brief stint with the Edmonton Eskimos in 2007, he then rejoined the Lions in 2008 as receivers coach and was then promoted to the coordinator post once again in 2010.
Speculation has been rampant league-wide about who the Alouettes might hire. Names such as Jones, Chapdelaine, former Ticats head coach Marcel Bellefeuille, former Blue Bombers head coach Paul LaPolice, former Roughriders Head Coach Greg Marshall and former Eskimos Head Coach Danny Maciocia have all been linked to the opening.