The Ottawa Redblacks have extended the contract of general manager Marcel Desjardins through the 2021 season.
Desjardins’ contract was set to expire at the end of December. Beat reporter Tim Baines broke the news.
Postmedia has learned the Redblacks will announce Wednesday they have extended the contracts of all but one of their coaches and all of their football operations department by a year.
So any contracts which would have expired at the end of December — including that of general manager Marcel Desjardins — have been extended one season, while others have each had a year added to the term.
The 54-year-old graduated with a sports administration degree from Laurentian University. He was hired by the Montreal Alouettes in 1999 as assistant director of football operations and earned the assistant GM title in 2002 under Jim Popp.
The Burlington native was hired as Hamilton Tiger-Cats’ GM midway through the 2006 season, but he was fired following the 2007 campaign. Desjardins went back to the Als from 2008 to 2012 until he was selected as Ottawa’s GM.
He’s compiled a 44-62-2 win-loss-tie regular season record while in the nation’s capital, plus a 4-3 playoff mark which includes the 104th Grey Cup overtime victory. The Redblacks have qualified for the post-season in four of his six years as GM, but Ottawa had its worst showing in 2019 since the team’s expansion season with a 3-15 finish.
Head coach Rick Campbell decided to leave after the dismal results last year and was hired by the B.C. Lions as their bench boss. That allowed Desjardins to bring in former Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ offensive coordinator Paul LaPolice as head coach, inking him to a three-year pact through the 2022 season. Desjardins traded for quarterback Nick Arbuckle to give the Redblacks a new potential face of the franchise at quarterback.
The only GM in franchise history, Desjardins receives a year to prove Ottawa can bounce back under his leadership.