Legendary former quarterback Anthony Calvillo to handle Alouettes’ offensive play-calling

Photo courtesy: Scott Grant/CFLPhotoArchive.com

The Montreal Alouettes have changed their minds about who will be calling their offensive plays following the firing of head coach and offensive coordinator Khari Jones.

According to a report from Didier Ormejuste of RDS, quarterbacks coach Anthony Calvillo will be in charge of the offensive decision-making going forward.

General manager Danny Maciocia, who stepped in as head coach after the team parted ways with Jones, stated last week that receivers coach Michael Lionello would handle the playcalling with game-planning done by committee, but has since done an about-face in favour of Montreal’s most recognizable football star.

Calvillo arrived in La Belle Province in 1998 as he joined the Als following stints in Las Vegas and Hamilton, which marked the beginning of a storied career. Serving as an understudy to QB Tracy Ham in his first two seasons, Calvillo took over as the starting signal-caller in 2000. He went on to lead the Alouettes to eight Grey Cup games, including three that ended with parades in the streets of Montreal while rewriting the CFL’s record books.

The six-foot-one, 200-pound passer spent 20 seasons in the three-down league, including the last 16 with the Als. He holds numerous CFL passing records, including all-time career passing yards with 79,816 and career passing touchdowns with 455. Calvillo became the first quarterback in league history to reach the 5,000-plus passing yards mark seven times over his career and was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 2017.

Following his retirement, Calvillo had a tumultuous three-year stint on the Alouettes’ coaching staff. He began as a receivers’ coach in 2015 before being promoted to quarterbacks coach and later co-offensive coordinator. Calvillo began the 2016 season as the primary play-caller before then-head coach Jaques Chapdelaine took over in September. Calvillo remained on as the Alouettes’ quarterbacks coach through the 2017 season and then spent the 2018 season in the same capacity with the Toronto Argonauts.

Danny Maciocia brought Calvillo back to Montreal in 2019 to serve under him as the assistant head coach of the Université de Montréal Carabins. The pair went to a Vanier Cup final together that season before Maciocia left to become general manager of the Alouettes and Calvillo assumed the offensive coordinator role in 2021.

The Alouettes hired Calvillo as quarterbacks coach to start the 2022 season but now one of the most successful players in CFL history will have some added responsibilities. The team has not yet officially named which quarterback Calvillo will be calling plays for, but reports indicate that veteran Trevor Harris continues to work with the top unit.