Alouettes fire Chapdelaine, Thorpe as GM Kavis Reed takes over

The Montreal Alouettes have fired head coach Jacques Chapdelaine and defensive coordinator Noel Thorpe.

General manager Kavis Reed will take over as interim head coach with defensive line coach Greg Quick calling defensive plays and quarterback coach Anthony Calvillo running the offence.

The news was first reported by Montreal radio reporter Tony Marinaro around 7:40 a.m. on Wednesday.

Though the move comes as a surprise, though reports are emerging that there was tension behind the scenes.

The firings come just one day after owner Andrew Wettenhall said there could be consequences for the team’s dismal performance this season.

This was the first full season for Chapdelaine, who took over from Jim Popp midway through 2016 and had his interim tag removed in December. His hiring was announced the same day as the team promoted Reed from special teams coordinator to general manager.

Thorpe has been defensive coordinator in Montreal since 2013. He served as the team’s defensive coordinator from 2002-2007 , winning a Grey Cup in 2002. From 2008 to 2010 he was Edmonton’s special team coordinator and assistant head coach, then spent two years as the University of Montreal’s head coach. He tried to leave Montreal after the 2015 season to join the Edmonton Eskimos but then-commissioner Jeffery Orridge blocked the move, saying Thorpe was still under contract with the Alouettes. That deal ran through this season.

Montreal is 3-8 through 11 games in 2017, the second-worst record in the CFL. The offence, which invested heavily in new quarterback Darian Durant and receiver Ernest Jackson, has struggled and is currently eighth in the league in scoring.

Montreal is currently third in the East Division with six points, just two points out of a playoff spot.

Drew Edwards

Drew Edwards

Drew Edwards is into his eighth season covering the CFL and the Ticats for the Hamilton Spectator. He is the founder and editor of 3DownNation.
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Drew Edwards
About Drew Edwards (1106 Articles)
Drew Edwards is into his eighth season covering the CFL and the Ticats for the Hamilton Spectator. He is the founder and editor of 3DownNation.

51 Comments on Alouettes fire Chapdelaine, Thorpe as GM Kavis Reed takes over

  1. This will probably work out well for Noel Thorpe. He wanted to leave Montreal a while back but the Als blocked him.

  2. Durant should not be starting. That’s on Kavis Reed.

    Look for Reed to man Jacques’ job. If that’s the case, the losses will continue to pile up. If he choses another head coach, same result.

  3. Stephen Fisher // September 13, 2017 at 8:49 am //

    So who is going to fire KR? No respect from me for dumping Bear Woods w no replacement on the scene and not even trying to get something back in a trade.

  4. Only guessing but, Kavis Reed to become HC, Anthony Calvillo becomes OC and Rich Stubler’s name is circulating around as DC? …. Maybe Drew Willy starts on Sunday against Ottawa to complete this mid-season costume change.

  5. And the larks begin another act in their ongoing drama. Who takes over the reins of TWO key positions? Seems they like to have at least one coach firing per season but this is nuts and probably won’t help the team to improve.

    • Okay the article has been updated since I posted the above comment. Rather a Popp-like kind of move isn’t it Reed? But then as you like to say – “There will be consequences!” LOL! 🙂

      Maybe they thought since it worked for Hamilton it’ll work for them but I highly doubt it!

  6. BigRedMachine // September 13, 2017 at 9:08 am //

    Reed is in way over his head. Again….

    • And remember, this is the SAME organization that hired Popp and Hawkins as head coaches….

      Reed was not good as a coach, now a GM.

      Peter principle in high gear.

  7. Everywhere Kavis Reed goes turns into a massive shtshow! Any owners or gm’s gonna clue in any time soon….

  8. A last something is finally happening.1-2yrs this league will be stronger then ever.

  9. How Kavis Reed remains employed is beyond me.

  10. Unfortunately one of several changes needed. The defence depends on pressure up-front, and with the departure of AM Cash, and Bowman another year older, there just isn’t any push – and without it, Thorpe’s style of defence won’t work. The O-line is slightly improved, but the offence clearly isn’t. I have confidence in Durant, but I wish all the rest of the QBs (Glenn, Adams, Bridge) weren’t all in Saskatoon.

  11. Lets see:
    Tom Higgens hired over the head of Jim Popp and fired after a season and a half I think
    Jim Popp fired as coach after another year or so
    Jacques Chapdelaine hired over the head of Jim Popp as GM
    Popp fired as GM, and Reed hired.

    Now Chapdelaine and Thorpe are gone.

    Any reorganization takes a few years. Might it be suggested that the Wettenhalls are self indulgent, and are running their own team into the ground?

    • This problem starts from the ownership on down as you just proved Frank.

      Owners who use their teams as playthings and not businesses tend to have these sorts of issues.

  12. Paul Bomber // September 13, 2017 at 10:25 am //

    Reed turned a lot of people off here in Wpg. Most were glad to see him go. He was a disaster in Edm. Wonder how long his ego will be allowed to strut around Montreal? Perhaps ownership is the root issue, but Reed is at least a nasty symptom if not root cause.

    • I thought he was terrible even as an assistant coach for the Renegades. I couldn’t believe he got a gig after that. A promotion, no less, if I recall correctly! Little did I know what it would lead to!

      • As an assistant coach how would you know he was terrible with the Renegades? The DC is responsible and accountable for the defensive unit, coaching and game plan.

        He worked hard and got an opportunity. Players respect him. I wish him the best of luck.

    • BleedingGreen // September 13, 2017 at 9:51 pm //

      Are you sure you are from WPG and not from SSK, Saskatoon maybe? Nasty root causes were gifts left from Popp.

    • Are you sure you are from WPG and not from SSK, Saskatoon maybe? Nasty root causes were gifts left from Popp.

  13. After all is said and done, this mess has to be laid at the feet of Jim Popp. His refusal to plan for the future after Calvillo is the root of this whole mess. Then his insistence to become a Head Coach only made it worse.

    I really think that the Wettenhall family has tried to be politically correct in the hiring of Chapdelaine (Quebecer) and Reed. Someone sweet talked them into these hirings. Also the insistence that Calvillo has a coaching job for life has not helped. This is only tarnishing what was once a sterling career. Hopefully he has learned and is now ready for the OC job.

    I don’t understand why when Marc Trestman became available the front office didn’t make any effort to lure him back. It’s a crying shame that was once the jewel of CFL franchises has become the laughing stock of the league.

    This year is done. What happens next year? Who knows. With the rise of the young HCs, read O’Shea, Dickenson. Mass, Jones and Campbell, please don’t recycle someone like Stubler in, which is rumoured. Someone like Neil Thorpe would have been the obvious choice but i guess Reed is clearing out those on the staff who disagreed with his philosophy. Sad!!

    GO ALS GO!!!!

    • It is not as if Popp did not try to find a replacement for Calvillo, whatever his success. And Popp as coach was, like all coaches in this Wettenhall owned team, under a lot of pressure. Whatever Jim Popp’s failings, it is unjust to lay this mess at his feet. Try the owners who seem too impatient for development to take place.

      • Paul Bomber // September 13, 2017 at 11:16 am //

        Agreed. I don’t think there was any denial about AC’s mortality, just no luck finding the next guy. Cgy, BC and Edm have been playing chess while the rest of the league plays checkers when it comes to turning up great QBs. Hell…. Ricky Ray was driving a friggin delivery truck when Edm discovered him.

  14. white stallion in red // September 13, 2017 at 10:51 am //

    Montreal is a great example of what happens when a organization rests on it’s laurels. They rode Calvillo till they could ride him no more. No succession plan in place.

    Reed and Chapdelaine are coordinators. Not HC or managers.

    • I will give reed the time to rebuild. I think one poster in particular is spinning using lots of different names to disparage his character. He’s a very bright guy, had time to work with some good GMs. Student of the game, working hard on connections.

  15. RalphInTheCreek // September 13, 2017 at 11:03 am //

    Lets hope they solve their problems real soon or the league will suffer, Sad but Reed is the wrong direction.

  16. Chapdelaine had a great offence in Sask in 2015. Even though the defence was terrible. I still think their O line is the biggest problem there in Montreal

  17. We toasted Reed in Hamilton…now he is the coach?…GM? Waaaaay over his head…keep him…because I want my Ticats in the playoffs…..lol..

  18. Stuart Tarry // September 13, 2017 at 11:33 am //

    A desperation move at the worst time of the year. NFL and college coaches now firmly fixed in position which means you have a smaller pool in which to source a replacement.

    As for Noel Thorpe, he should have another job by the end of the week. I reckon Hamilton

    • Thorpe’s defensive strategy seemed look weak this season. Most years it was heavy on blitzing the quarterback but the Al’s defense has had a tough time cutting through the opposing team’s O-line. There is a lot of gaps where wide receivers would be all open, unmolested constantly getting 1st downs & eating up the clock. Even if opponents wouldn’t score, they would usually be in field position to score 3 points which cost us many close games this season. Also Durant’s inability stay on the field for any length of time tired out the defense before the second half.

    • Thorpes’s not going to land in Steeltown Stuart. Lolley has the D there working much better and they’ve had enough turnover for one season. They sure don’t need any more!

  19. Agree. Chapdelaine has been a good OC. Maybe adding HC to his duties was too much. Not everyone can handle that. His play calling has certainly come into question this year. A lot of money invested in Durant & Jackson with Jackson underused. No offence to Nik but if he is the most targeted receiver there’s something wrong. Very predictable on offence.

  20. Kavis Reed’s revenge for the loss in 2009 will continue. Only bright side is the Als will be getting the 1st overall pick (if Reed doesn’t trade them away for some other teams’ old jalopies in the coming weeks) for the next 2-3 years.

  21. Popp couldn’t handle the dual role of GM/coach. What makes Reed think he can handle both roles when he’s botched the original GM role he was hired for?

    • Paul Bomber // September 13, 2017 at 2:14 pm //

      Popp’s very first coaching gig was as a head coach for Montreal. He was insane to think that was a good idea. Should have stuck to GM job.

  22. Dan Bombers // September 13, 2017 at 11:55 am //

    Welcome to Winnipeg Noel !!

    • Paul Bomber // September 13, 2017 at 12:21 pm //

      You’re making me drool at the prospect! Job one is to run Hall out of town, but to be able to replace him with Thorpe? That would be awesome!

  23. Cue the tire fire.

  24. It starts with ownership. They have no idea what they are doing. They could have hired Sunderland but took Reed as GM. Mistake!

  25. Southwest cowboy // September 13, 2017 at 12:47 pm //

    This all started when Thorpe went to a ‘Richie Hall defense’ in Winnipeg with a 12 point lead with a minute and a half to go. The Bombers won and the Als have never been the same. If the Als had won they would have been 4-2 but they haven’t won since.

    • Add no pressure on a recovering Ricky Ray, that was a horrible game plan for that game. Thorpe has been strong in the past don’t know what’s going on this year. Bomber’s please sign him up!

  26. At least I won’t have to watch Jaques Chompdegum gnawing on his juicy fruit every second play (TSN)

  27. Lancaster/Reed // September 14, 2017 at 1:37 am //

    Montreal’s biigest problem is the owner. He simply cant stop sticking his nose into everything.

  28. This is a move by ALS ownership to ultimately hold Kavis Reed accountable. Stupid move trading for Darian Durant and handicapping the team’s ability to recruit talent given that so much cap room has been waisted on Durant not just for this year but for the next two years to come. This is a prelude to the firing of Kavis Reed.

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