MONTREAL - A day after deciding not to extend the contract of Jeff Reinebold, the Montreal Alouettes named Noel Thorpe the club's new defensive coordinator.
Thorpe makes his return to the CFL and the Alouettes after spending the last two seasons with the Université de Montréal Carabins. In 2012, with Thorpe as the team's first-year defensive coordinator, the Carabins finished the season with an 8-1 record while boasting the top defence in the country, allowing only 102 points in nine games. He was also the head coach of the gold-medal-winning Team Canada squad at last winter's IFAF U19 World Championship in Austin, TX.
"We welcome Noel back to the Alouettes. He will bring invaluable CFL experience to the staff and has always been very helpful with well thought-out suggestions”, said general manager Jim Popp. “He is a dedicated teacher of the game and has the best interest of the organization in the development of the future of our team. This is a job he has been training and preparing for and he is very excited for the opportunity."
During his first stint with the Alouettes, Thorpe was hired to the team's front office by Popp before being appointed special teams coordinator by then Head Coach Don Matthews, a position he held from 2002 to 2007. His responsibilities also included coaching defensive backs from 2003 to 2007. While in Montreal, Thorpe helped the Alouettes reach the Grey Cup on four separate occasions, winning it in 2002, marking the team’s first championship since 1977.
The Vancouver native was also the Edmonton Eskimos’ special teams coordinator and defensive backs coach from 2008 to 2010. During his last two seasons in Edmonton, he served as the team’s assistant head coach.
“It’s a great opportunity for me to be back with the Alouettes and to work with Marc Trestman, a proven coach in the CFL,” said Thorpe. “I have worked with Jim Popp before and I'm thankful to be back with the organization that gave me my start in professional football and I’m looking forward to working with Marc and the other members of his coaching staff.”
Before joining the Alouettes in 2002, the now 41-year-old coach helped the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds win the Vanier Cup in 1997. He was the team’s special teams coordinator and defensive backs coach from 1996 to 2000.
“I would like to thank Jeff Reinebold for his hard work and dedication to the Alouettes last season. He is a great coach and a better person,” said Trestman. “I have been familiar with Noel since I arrived in the league in 2008 and we have had some interest in having him on our staff for quite some time. We thank Danny Maciocia and the Carabins for giving us the chance to add Noel to our team.”
- With files from MontrealAlouettes.com