The Ottawa Redblacks have fired general manager Marcel Desjardins.
“Marcel was the first employee hired by the REDBLACKS back in 2013,” said Mark Goudie, President & CEO, Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group (OSEG) in a press release. “He has put everything that he has into our organization. His many accomplishments include bringing Ottawa its first Grey Cup win in 40 years. I respect Marcel very much and thank him for his unwavering commitment to the Redblacks, RNation and our community.”
Assistant general manager Jeremy Snyder, who has been with the organization since 2013, will assume the role of interim general manager for the remainder of this season. Jean-Marc Edmé, who has been with the organization since 2016, will assume the interim assistant general manager role.
The club will initiate a search for a permanent general manager.
“No longer with REDBLACKS!” Desjardins tweeted on Monday morning. “Happy to be able to spend real time with my wife…nothing better in life!”
Desjardins was hired in January 2013 and is the only general manager in team history. He finishes his tenure in Ottawa with a 46-71-2 record in the regular season, 3-1 record in the playoffs, and 1-2 record in Grey Cups.
The Redblacks struggled in their expansion season in 2014, finishing at the bottom of the East Division standings at 2-16. The team improved dramatically going into its second year following the additions of SirVincent Rogers, Greg Ellingson, and Brad Sinopoli, earning a berth in the Grey Cup following a 12-6 regular season.
Ottawa went 8-9-1 the following year but still finished atop the East Division standings before upsetting the Calgary Stampeders in the Grey Cup by a score of 39-33. Henry Burris was named the game’s Most Valuable Player, while Sinopoli was named the game’s Most Valuable Canadian.
Trevor Harris took over as the team’s starting quarterback in 2017, leading the team to a 19-16-1 record over two seasons. Ottawa reached the Grey Cup again in 2018, though they were defeated by Calgary at Commonwealth Stadium by a score of 27-16.
Things took a disastrous turn in 2019 following the departures of a number of key free agents, including Harris, Ellingson, and Rogers. The team finished 3-15 after a 2-0 start, which led to head coach Rick Campbell mutually parting ways with the team at the end of the season.
Paul LaPolice was hired as the club’s new head coach in December 2019 and the team acquired quarterback Nick Arbuckle via trade shortly thereafter. He was cut the following year when the team was unwilling to honour his original contract, leading the club to sign veteran pivot Matt Nichols.
The 2021 season has been a continuation of a dreadful 2019 campaign as the Redblacks have limped to a 2-9 start.
Desjardins has previously served as the assistant general manager of the Montreal Alouettes (2002-06, 2008-12) and the general manager of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats (2006-07).