While there are a number of key questions facing the Hamilton Tiger-Cats the future of team CEO Scott Mitchell isn’t one of them.
In his first public comments since his team was eliminated from playoff contention, Hamilton Tiger-Cats owner Bob Young has given Mitchell a vote of confidence, while also warning against the pitfalls of massive organizational upheaval in the wake of an admittedly disappointing season.
“For all our fans love to see changes when their team does not win as much as we want, and hate changes when the team is winning, that is not how good organizations operate,” Young said via email. “The worst thing an underperforming organization can do is to lose the good people it already has.”
Young, who purchased the team in 2003, said he understands the need for change but that the ability to evolve is just as important and that he has seen growth in Mitchell, who was named team president in 2007 and promoted to CEO 2013. He is also heavily involved in Young’s other business ventures, including a new domestic soccer club slated for launch in either 2018 or 2019.
“A major mistake winning organizations frequently make is not making changes. Great teams that do not strive to get better invariable become worse over time. Sadly, age does that to all of us. Whether we are professional athletes or business executives. Although business executives can continue to improve well into their 60’s, whereas professional athletes face the consequences of age much earlier,” Young wrote. “Just one name mentioned above who continues to improve is Scott Mitchell. He will be a big part of the solution to the challenges we have had on the field this season, and will continue to help me build the Tiger-Cats into a financially successful enterprise, ensuring the long-term stability of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats Football Club both on and off the field.”
Mitchell came under fire this season after the team hired disgraced American college coach Art Briles as an assistant, only to rescind the offer less than 24 hours later after backlash from the community and media across North America. Briles was ousted from his previous job as the head coach at Baylor after a sexual assault scandal that rocked the university.
Both Young and Mitchell apologized for the hiring and the team has since launched a partnership with Interval House, a local organization that provides housing and support services for abused women, in the “Be More Than a Bystander” Campaign program aimed at increasing awareness and understanding about the impact of violence against women.
Young did not address the fate of vice-president of football operations Kent Austin, general manager Eric Tillman or head coach June Jones. Sources close to the team said no decisions on their future with the club are expected to be made until after the conclusion of the regular season in early November.