Ottawa tabs Desjardins as first General Manager | | Official Site of the Canadian Football League
Ottawa Franchise Names Desjardins New GM
Jonathan Rubinoff/ Staff

OTTAWA -- The Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group today announced that Marcel Desjardins has been appointed General Manager of Ottawa’s new Canadian Football League franchise.  Desjardins, a 19-year CFL football operations veteran, will be responsible for all facets of team operations in Ottawa, including coaches, scouts and player contracts.

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“I’m delighted that one of the CFL’s most experienced and accomplished football operations leaders has agreed to become the architect of our new team,” said Jeff Hunt, President, OSEG Sports. 

“As an Assistant General Manager with the Montreal Alouettes, Marcel played a major role in the design of three Grey Cup winning rosters and he oversaw one of the League’s most effective football operations teams.  He has an ideal skill-set that’ll only grow in his new role with us, and I can’t wait to see the fruits of his labour when we kick-off a new era of CFL football in Ottawa in the summer of 2014.”

“I’m honoured and humbled by this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to build a CFL team from the ground up,” said the 46-year-old Desjardins.  “Jeff Hunt and the other team owners are committed to reestablishing a winning football tradition in Ottawa and reigniting fan passions, and to be able to contribute to that process is a dream come true.”

Prior to joining the Ottawa franchise, the bilingual Desjardins served 5-seasons as Assistant General Manager under Jim Popp with the Montreal Alouettes, winning Grey Cups in 2009 and 2010.  He was responsible for scouting NFL camps, CIS football and some US college bowl games, as well as contract negotiations, salary cap management and day-to-day administration of the team. 

Desjardins admitted he's looking forward to finally putting everything he's learned in Montreal into practice in Ottawa.

"It's done right there. (Jim Popp) has done a good job of structuring things," he said.

"Contiunuity means a lot at all levels, I honestly believe that. If you have the right people there, there's no reason to make changes. That's how the approach has to be here."

Popp also expressed his excitement for Desjardins in a statement released by the team.

“On behalf of the Montreal Alouettes, I first want to congratulate Marcel for obtaining the job in Ottawa and second, to thank him for a fantastic job in the way he has serviced the Montreal Alouettes,” said Popp. “Marcel is a real hero in the organization who doesn't get nearly enough thank you's that should go his way.”

Prior to his AGM role with the Al’s, Marcel, a native of Burlington ON.,  served as General Manager of the Hamilton Tiger Cats from August 2006 through the 2007 season.  Prior to that, he served 5 seasons as Montreal’s Assistant General Manager and won a Grey Cup in 2002, and he served 3 previous seasons as the Al’s Assistant Director of Football Operations. 

Before joining Montreal,  Marcel spent 5 years at CFL headquarters in Toronto where, among other things, he helped transition the football operations department into the database age.  He also ensured player contracts adhered to the League’s Collective Bargaining Agreement and was involved in other player personnel matters.  

Marcel holds an Honours Bachelor of Commerce degree with a specialization in Sports Administration from Laurentian University in Sudbury, ON.  His experience in the sports industry prior to joining the CFL office included tenures with the Sudbury Wolves of the Ontario Hockey League and the Canada Games Council.

"It's not about one person, you do it right, do it with the right people and if your thorough with the things you do, you'll have success," he said.


Fan Comments
Considering all the bodies in management and coaching staff that have departed, MONTREAL will still be a major player in the EAST.

Popp is too heady of a guy to let all this wash away the 2013 - 2014 seasons.

Granted he needs to make some keen hires in the voides left, but I-M-O his biggest decision will be who to groom as QB before Anthony Calvillo's retirement. This is a HUGE decision that won't allow for too many re-dos or mulligans. Popp needs to locate a young savvy QB. All he has to do is look WEST and see the crap that WPG and EDM are enduring when you have a club with no talent at the QB spot, and a huge critical void as a leader in the offensive huddle.

Get a solid young QB POPP, and the Alouette train will remain on the tracks. We've seen WPG and EDM derail. Those are templates on HOW NOT TO DO IT. Although EDM has hope with Hervey at the controls, I cannot say the same for the Blue Bombers. They are in trouble.
January 31, 2013 - 12:09pm
I can't wait to be an ottawa fan again, hurry 2014. I guess winnipeg will be moving back to the west, we really do need one more team in the east. come on mark, make it happen
January 31, 2013 - 10:21am
Why no domed stadium? I understand the Canadian Blood, etc. however I like to see Football Games and not snow and ice storms. In honor of Proudfoot, they'll staple tacks to the bottom of their shoes.
January 31, 2013 - 6:26am
Ar with all your knowledge in regards to the CFL I"m surprised you were not the man to guide ottawa"s move back into the league.Now you are privey to the leagues best secrets,oh sorry Ottawa"s.
January 30, 2013 - 10:30pm
als rule
excuse me mr. know nothing!! his appointment was reported weeks ago in both ottawa and montreal!! LOL LOL LOL
January 31, 2013 - 10:12am
als rule
rudie my price was to high!! this hiring was no secret BUT I guess to you it was!! LOL LOL LOL
January 31, 2013 - 6:11pm
als rule
congrats marcel and thanx for your great alouette service!! all the best except against the als!! team will miss you!!
January 30, 2013 - 5:16pm
als rule
best kept secret in ottawa since last thursday!!
January 30, 2013 - 3:28pm