- Free Agency
MONTREAL — The Montreal Alouettes announced on Monday that they have hired Danny Maciocia as general manager and Mario Cecchini as president.
“Mario, Danny and Khari (Jones) are the trio we need to truly become a great organization both on and off the field,” said Gary Stern, co-owner of the Montreal Alouettes. “They have extensive experience and have had success in their respective fields. Mario is known for his leadership, he knows the Quebec market and has left his mark on the business community while Danny has won everywhere he has coached or managed a football team.
“As for Khari, he has proven last year that he is the right man to lead our team and that the players will go the extra mile for him.”
Maciocia has spent the past nine years as the head coach of the University of Montreal football team. Over that span, he’s helped to lead the Carabins to three Dunsmore Cups (2014, 2015, 2019) as well as a Vanier Cup victory in 2014 — it was the first national championship in the program’s history.
He was able to help lead the team back to the Vanier Cup this past season, but they dropped the game to the University of Calgary.
Before his time in U SPORTS, the 52-year-old spent over a decade in the CFL. The majority of his tenure in the league was spent with the Edmonton Eskimos, with whom he spent time as a coach, director of football operations and general manager from 2002-10.
He helped the Eskimos capture the 93rd Grey Cup over the Alouettes in 2005 while compiling an 11-7 record during the regular season.
Maciocia previously spent time in the Als’ organization, joining them in 1996 as an offensive quality control coach before eventually working his way up to the team’s offensive coordinator position in 2001.
“Today, I am finally realizing a dream that I have caressed for quite some time by being named the General Manager of my hometown’s pro team,” said Maciocia. “I am excited to return with the Alouettes and help this team regain its past glory, and I am now in an excellent position to do so.”
“I want to thank the Carabins, who allowed me to be even more ready for this challenge and I am confident that they will remain amongst the elite football teams in the country,” he continued. “I am also extremely happy to be in a position to help and develop amateur football at home, in Quebec.”
Cecchini is no stranger to the sports landscape. At the turn of the century he was managing amongst other stations the FAN590 in Toronto, then launched CKAC Sports when he was the EVP of Corus Québec, and presided over the group that owns 91,9 Sports as recently as 2018.
Cecchini made two noteworthy stops at Corus, first as EVP of Corus Québec between 2006 and 2011, and from 2013 to 2016 as President of all Quebec Specialty Channels and President of Radio. During that time, he launched 98,5FM, which rapidly became and still remains Canada’s radio station with the highest ratings, on top of being the Alouettes official broadcaster.
“I am passionate about football and the Alouettes, and I am thrilled to take on this exciting challenge,” said Cecchini. “My first message goes to the fans – rest assured that all efforts will be dedicated to provide an excitement on the field, and to the business community we will come very shortly to you to demonstrate the quality opportunity the Alouettes bring to the market.
“The three of us have the same objective, and I know it goes the same for Coach Jones, which is to make this organization a leading force in the CFL once again. Each of us knows what it takes to continue to build on the foundations that were layed in 2019, and we will go above and beyond to deliver.”
The pair of Quebec natives will join an Alouettes leadership group that features Stern, Speigel and newly-extended head coach Khari Jones, who will all be looking to help the team improve on a 2019 campaign that saw the team go 10-8 and make the playoffs for the first time since 2014.