Scott Squires has spent nearly half his life coaching football, and he probably will return to the vocation.
But Squires also understands, with three young children at home, his first priority must be his family. And so, with some regret and much deliberation, the 45-year-old decided to resign from the Alouettes following two years with the club – as first reported yesterday on montrealgazette.com. He was Montreal’s special teams co-ordinator and was under contract for the coming season.
“I’ve been coaching a long time but, in the best interests of my family, I no longer can afford to spend six months in Montreal,” Squires told The Gazette from his home in Thousand Oaks., Calif. “My kids all are at important ages.”
Squires and his wife, Sherith, have two boys and a girl between age 7 and 12. Late last month, his oldest child, Brock, asked his father whether he would be returning this season to Montreal.
“He told me it would be good if I stayed home,” Squires said. “That resonated with me. I had ongoing discussions with my wife … and have decided to stay home and take a year or so off.
“I’m not actively looking for another job,” he added. “At this time,
I need to be around my family. If I’m lucky and things work out, I would hope to go back to Montreal.”
With training camp scheduled to begin in two months, a replacement had to quickly be found.
Squires apprised Als head coach Marc Trestman of his decision recently. Trestman didn’t attempt to dissuade Squires, although he telephoned him that same night – just to be certain the assistant was sure and comfortable with his choice.
Change is inevitable, Trestman realizes, even on the defending Grey Cup champions.
“It’s good that we’ve only lost one member from our staff,” Trestman said from his home in Raleigh, N.C. “Each coach is important, but special teams are critically important. I think it’s more than one-third of the game, because of the amount of time each play takes. It’s more critical, in some ways, than offence or defence.”
Replacing Squires is Richard Kent, the Toronto Argonauts’secondary coach last season. Kent, 49, has been a special-teams co-ordinator in NFL Europe, but has only one year’s experience in the Canadian Football League. Kent came highly recommended to Trestman by several Montreal players who have been coached by him.
“He knows the league and the matchups. That benefits us,”Trestman said. “We have a group of (special teams) players that are very experienced. The guys will take ownership and have a hand. That should make it an easy transition.”
Squires joined the Als in 2008,after one season with the Edmonton Eskimos. Montreal’s special teams were largely successful under his tutelage.
Kicker Damon Duval led the league in scoring last season, with 242 points. Return-specialist Larry Taylor, who will be trying to crack the New York Jets’ roster this season, returned two punts and a field goal for touchdowns. Taylor was named the CFL’s outstanding special-teams player.
“This is a huge loss,” Duval said. “He (Squires) knew me and my routine … and how to get things corrected. I developed a lot better relationship with Scott Squires, because he was a specific special-teams coach.
“This really does stink,” Duval added. “I really liked the guy and we had a good business relationship.
I think he raised the level of my game. Me and him bonded. He helped and taught me in his own way.”
Duval was among the first players Squires informed. “Guys were passionate about special teams and played with intensity,” Squires said. “Were we the most creative? I don’t think so. But we were aggressive and passionate. I like those guys a lot and they made special teams very important.
“But I know I’m doing the right thing.”
Squires becomes the fourth member of Trestman’s staff in two years to resign. Vince Martino left for health reasons, while Casey Creehan and Jamie Elizondo took shortlived U.S. college positions.