The Toronto Argonauts have fired head coach Marc Trestman.
The team made the announcement early Saturday morning after a 24-9 loss to the Ottawa Redblacks out an end to a dismal 4-14 campaign.
Trestman was hired with general manager Jim Popp with great fanfare in February 2017 and won a Grey Cup with the club in his first season. But his 15-23 overall record and tumultuous 2018 campaign ultimately led to his departure. It looks like Popp is staying on, however, as the release states he will lead the search for Trestman’s replacement.
According to 3DownNation’s Justin Dunk, Trestman was the highest-paid coach in the CFL, earning over $600,000, far greater than the $275,000 to $400,000 typical for the position. His three-year contract still had a season to run and coaching contract are fully guaranteed so Trestman is likely to receive full value for 2019.
Trestman made his CFL bones with an impressive five-year run with Popp in Montreal. The Alouettes won the East Division regular-season title four times and claimed back-to-back Grey Cups in 2009 and 2010. He accumulated 59 wins in 90 regular season games and went 5-3 in the playoffs. The Minneapolis, Minnesota native was then hired as head coach of the Chicago Bears in 2013 but he was fired after the 2014 campaign with a 13-19 record. He spent one season as the Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator in 2015.
SportsNet’s Arash Madani reported in mid-October that there was friction between Argo owners MLSE, who took over before this season, and Popp and Trestman. Team president Bill Manning said in a radio interview this week that he met with Popp and sais the team had to be better.
“I sat with Jim for a couple hours and we talked about the football team. And my thing is at the end of the day, I’m not involved in terms of the player personnel and X’s and O’s of the football team, but we have to win. We’re going to talk further and my challenge to Jim is I said ‘look we need to be a team that can be a playoff team, that’s really at the minimum,’” Manning said on TSN radio.