GM Marcel Desjardins works wizardry, retains entire Redblacks staff

With the CFL’s new non-player operations cap coming into effect this off-season, teams around the CFL have been losing front office personnel left, right and centre.

Yet in the midst of a league-wide game of front office musical chairs, Ottawa Redblacks general manager Marcel Desjardins has somehow found a way to retain not only his entire coaching staff, but also his whole operations staff.

Jamie Elizondo, Noel Thorpe, Bob Dyce, Mark Nelson, Winston October, Leroy Blugh, John McDonell, Beau Walker and Patrick Bourgon will all be back as coaches.

Jeremy Snyder, Jean-Marc Edme, Joey Swarbrick, Pier-Yves Lavergne, Marcelo Cuenca, Nick Mercuri, RJ James, Drew McCormick, Colin Farquharson, Braun Gheller, Adrien Bourdon, and Philippe Moreau, all return to their respective front office positions.

For an entire coaching and operations staff to remain in place over the course of an off-season is rare enough, but for that to happen when a spending cap is coming into effect on said staff for the first time almost defies explanation.

Given that every team without a coaching vacancy has released someone as a result of the new non-player operations cap, either the Redblacks were paying their staff less than everyone else (doubtful), or some of Desjardins’ staff in the nation’s capital accepted salary reductions to keep their group together.

Either way, it bodes extremely well for the Redblacks franchise. As has been proven time and time again in sports, continuity breeds success. Whether it’s player personnel and scouts trusting each other, to coaches knowing players tendencies, to players feeling comfortable in familiar offensive or defensive schemes, stability goes a long way in building a strong team.

Santino Filoso is originally from Ottawa and has written about the Redblacks since 2013. He is the only CFL writer currently living in Brazil (as far as we know).