Off-the-board Alouettes head coach suggestion: Ben Cahoon

The Montreal Alouettes are a mess. We all know that. You have veteran players speaking out, fans embarrassed by the team’s performance and seemingly a lack of  young players being talked about as building blocks.

But there’s also a problem of stability. There have been too many head coaches and personnel changes over the last few years. The once proud franchise that featured leaders like Matthews and Trestman is rudderless at the moment.

So as the team looks for yet another new head coach to mentor young players and bring in a winning mentality and culture, I simply want them to consider one man that they might not be thinking about: Ben Cahoon.

As a player for the Alouettes, the hall-of-fame wideout personified success, hard work, doing things the right way and leading by example. He beat the odds and not only became one of the best, but he also became a legend. If Als fans close their eyes they can still remember those glory years of yelling CAHOOOOOON! following a big catch over the middle for a first down.

This isn’t purely a nostalgic play. Cahoon has had some coaching experience, working as a the wide receivers coach for Brigham Young University, his Alma Mater, in two separate stints.

While we don’t really know if Ben is even interested in uprooting his large family and returning to Montreal, I believe that Bob and Andrew Wetenhall should at the very least put out a feeler and see if he’s interested.

Head coaches don’t have to be pure Xs and Os guys. That’s what the coordinators are for. Head coaches are there to plan, to lead, to mentor and to make the tough decisions. Cahoon just has an aura about him. He exudes championship pedigree and that’s something that the Alouettes could certainly use more of at the moment. He command a ton of respect, relate well to the players and not get rattled in the face of adversity.

Now some of you might be asking why I am not advocating for Anthony Calvillo to be head coach. After all, he’s been on the coaching staff for a few seasons. Another guy championship pedigree, rightly or wrongly, Calvillo is now associated with the losing and lack of offense that has become synonymous with the club over the last couple of years. You can’t blame him for all of the ineptitude of the team’s offense in recent seasons. But you can’t reward him with a head coaching position, either.

Sure, the Als are obviously mulling over all of the usual names to be the team’s new head guy. But all I’m asking is for them to consider bringing in a former legendary receiver who thinks the game at the same high level that he played at.

It’s certainly an off-the-board head coach pick. But call it hunch. There’s just something about old number 86 that just might 86 the team’s losing ways.

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Matthew Ross

Matthew Ross

Matthew Ross is a radio host on TSN 690 Montreal and has contributed to the Montreal Gazette, MLB.com and AskMen.com. He's a native Montrealer and misses watching Anthony Calvillo just like everyone else.
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Matthew Ross
About Matthew Ross (5 Articles)
Matthew Ross is a radio host on TSN 690 Montreal and has contributed to the Montreal Gazette, MLB.com and AskMen.com. He's a native Montrealer and misses watching Anthony Calvillo just like everyone else.

18 Comments on Off-the-board Alouettes head coach suggestion: Ben Cahoon

  1. Not a good idea at all! Maybe as an assistant coach but NOT as the head coach. Not enough experience….

    • I agree, there are steps before you can become a head coach. I think that all head coaches must go through the ranks and at least be an assistant coach first.

  2. Cahoon needs some grooming as an assistant for a few years before being named a head coach assuming he is successful. Going from receivers coach in college directly to head coach in the CFL is another recipe for disaster. Montreal needs an established coach who has had success somewhere else.

  3. Paul Lapolice be head coach he even has a french . Last name haha

  4. Not a band wagon jumper // November 9, 2017 at 11:42 am //

    Bud Grant went from player to coach. He didn’t do too badly!

  5. solara2000 // November 9, 2017 at 12:08 pm //

    An interesting suggestion. My concern is the Bud Grants of the world (kudos to ‘Not a band wagon jumper’) and few and far between. Could Cahoon be one of those very few – perhaps, but is this the time to find out? I think the Allouettes (not an Als fan) at are a crossroads – on and off-field performance (attendance). Like Ottawa they have seen 2 teams fail in the 20-25 years. I think it is a stretch to call Montreal a ‘football town’.
    Its a great city, but football city…..
    I think this is the time for someone of proven CFL success in the ascendancy of his career, not ‘yesterday’s man’ and with a personality that can grab some limelight for the team. Not really sure who that is but thats probably a different post.

  6. Just because a former player was popular and an all-star does not automatically mean he would be a great head coach. Examples are Matt Dunigan in the CFL and Wayne Gretzky in the NHL, both quickly fizzled. This article about Cahoon coaching is pure speculation and it doesn’t appear that there is anything to base it on. Has Cahoon even shown an interest in coaching the Als? If he really is interested in a coaching career in the CFL, take the path of Mike O’Shea or Dave Dickenson. Work your way up and prove yourself.

  7. greenonions // November 9, 2017 at 12:32 pm //

    As Reed says the new coach will have the latitude to hire his own staff, I would love to be a fly on the wall if Cahoon decided Calvillo wasn’t his guy. No, the Als don’t need to bring in a former “great” to bring in fans. They need to bring in an established guy to bring credibiltiy to this team. Reed was already criticized for his lack of experience. You don’t need a coach who’ll be open to the same.

  8. rider rooter // November 9, 2017 at 12:56 pm //

    Kent Austin will be the guy. Hamilton will fire him

  9. Another thumbs down column. Only positive part of the suggestion is Cahoon should be available to hire since one of the problems at BYU is the receivers are not making enough catches. If Cahoon can’t even positively influence impressionable youngsters at a school were he was a legend, how is he going to be a benefit to the Alouettes?

  10. I think the Als need a leader with some experience in righting the ship. The team continually puts AC in over his head as the Offensive Coordinator, and look how that turns out each time. So, maybe not the best idea to bring in an inexperienced Cahoon as the Head Coach.

  11. Tiger man // November 9, 2017 at 2:39 pm //

    I remember this kind of silly suggestion when Calvillo retired.

    Look how that’s turned out.

    A good player doesn’t always make a good coach.

  12. No, no, no. Unproven, no track record; hence a huge risk – exactly what Montreal does NOT need now. Get someone with a proven track record of coaching SUCCESS (e.g. Lapolice), and hope you can convince him that he will be left alone to coach the team.

  13. TwoTurnTablesandaMicrophone // November 9, 2017 at 5:12 pm //

    An idea for a story would be to have a list of potential REAL coaches to run the team. LaPolice, Kent Austin (if he still has “it”), Devon Claybrooks, Khari Jones, Jarious Jackson, etc. It would be worth the Alouettes to do a thorough search this time instead of the knee-jerk decisions that we’ve seen since the Trestman era.

  14. tom calder // November 10, 2017 at 1:12 pm //

    I know Ross is well intended but it’s a bit ridiculous. The Als desperately need to re establish credibility with fans, and other CFL players and prove they’re not a circus act. Chamblin, LaPolice would be a good place to start

  15. Marc Lebut // November 10, 2017 at 4:20 pm //

    Alouettes’s situation is a catch 22. They need a solid HC with solid coordinators (which doesn’t include Calvillo, who’s never been put in a situation where he had a tiny chance to succeed. But in the same, they need a good GM who can load the roster with good players, not with leftovers and a bunch of Div. II kids. This is where the problem starts. Reed has no clue on building a winning team, and neither does Joe Mack. So, to think Ben Cahoon will come in and save the day is foolish. Nothing positive will happen as long as Reed is GM and Mack the Chief Scout. And frankly, anyone seriously competent will come as HC in Montréal as long as Reed will be GM. He cut his best D player 2 days into camp for non football reasons saying it was for football reasons, threw his 2 best coaches under the bus when players went whining in his office because the HC thought of cutting them loose if their game didn’t improve on the field. One failing to catch half of the passes thrown to him wide open and the other who couldn’t buy a way to get open. I mean which competent guy will come to be HC on the CFL’s most ejected seat? Which competent guy will be HC under a total incompetent GM, feeded by an under par Chief Scout?

    When shi? sprinkles from the top, there is shi? everywhere under the top. This is the Alouettes with Reed and Mack confirmed in their position. They have to go if the Alouettes are to be back on tracks. I doubt this will happen on due time and sadly expect this franchise to fold before 2020.

  16. habbernack // November 14, 2017 at 6:30 pm //

    The Als should go after Trestman. Offer him the GM, coaching jobs and VP of football Ops. Similar to what John Hufnagel was doing in calgary. The fans know him and IMO ticket sales would go up the minute he was signed. Also they need him to develop the next QB’s. I’m sure AC would love to learn from him too. He could be groomed the way Huff groomed Dickenson.

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