Marc Trestman has been named head coach and general manager of the Tampa Bay franchise in the XFL.
Trestman available after he was notified by Toronto Argos president Bill Manning at 2 a.m. on Nov. 3 that he had been fired as head coach of the team while still on the team bus after losing to the Ottawa Redblacks in the last regular season game. Since being let go by the Argos Trestman underwent and is recovering from double hip surgery.
“It all started for me about two months ago when Oliver [Luck] reached out. Oliver was kind enough to come to Toronto in mid-January just after I had both of my hips replaced. After speaking with him I was really convinced that Mr. McMahon was not only enthusiastically committed to financially backing the league and getting it right, but also he was giving Oliver, his new coaches and his support an operations people time,” Trestman said.
“The closer for me was Oliver. He’s a man of great integrity and he’s got experience with these start-ups types of endeavours.”
Luck is the commissioner of the XFL. He was president of NFL Europe from 1996-2000 and worked for the NCAA after finishing his playing career in the NFL.
“Marc is a very innovative guy. He’s a guy that thinks offence, very methodical, he likes to plan. Won three Grey Cups up in Canada and that’s extraordinarily important. We don’t spend as much time as we probably should watching CFL football and what they do up there, but it’s a fun, exciting game. And Marc having had success – real success – with three Grey Cups is very impressive,” Luck said.
“Our goal of playing that uptempo, more rhythm, more flow, fewer stoppages, more points, playing in that kind of a game I think Marc is absolutely the perfect choice.”
The XFL is set to kickoff play one week after the Super Bowl in February 2020.
Trestman was hired by the Argos with general manager Jim Popp 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.
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 contracts 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.