Canadian Brent Monson deserves to be a CFL head coach candidate

Photo: Larry MacDougal/3DownNation. All rights reserved.

Brent Monson deserves to be a head coach candidate in the Canadian Football League and has the ability to lead a team.

Monson has been with the Stampeders for 13 seasons, learning from John Hufnagel and Dave Dickenson in Calgary’s bench boss position. The 37-year-old has gained valuable knowledge from growing up in the CFL’s model franchise since he was 22 years old.

The Hamilton, ON native joined the red and white in 2010. He’s helped Juwan Simpson, Deron Mayon, Alex Singleton, Wynton McManis and Darnell Sankey develop to be among the best linebackers in the league under his tutelage. Monson also spent time on the offensive side of the ball as the Stamps’ running backs coach for three seasons, Jon Cornish’s best years with the team.

For the last three seasons, Monson has designed, implemented and led a Stampeders’ defence that has been the most consistent unit in Calgary, especially the last two years. While Bo Levi Mitchell saw a downturn in production — largely due to injuries — and the offence switched to Jake Maier at quarterback, it was the Stamps’ D that held steady. Various positions on defence have experienced turnover, but Monson’s leadership has kept the unit strong.

There could be multiple head coaching vacancies across the three-down league in the offseason and teams would be smart to interview and consider Monson for that role. The Redblacks already have a vacancy, the Alouettes might look to hire a bench boss if Danny Maciocia doesn’t want dual-role duty anymore and if the Roughriders don’t make the playoffs, Saskatchewan could have an opening.

Ottawa general manager Shawn Burke would be wise to seek out Monson for an interview with the potential for creating an all-Canadian GM and head coach combo. It’s worked out well for the Blue Bombers, as Kyle Walters and Mike O’Shea have guided Winnipeg to two straight Grey Cup championships. Burke is a Guelph native right around the same age as Monson who spent 15 years with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats prior to becoming the GM in the nation’s capital.

Based on conversations with past and present Stampeders players, Monson knows how to lead in a modern way. He understands what is needed to motivate athletes in this day and age, which is critical for success in professional sports. Each player requires unique management and preparation techniques, whether it’s veterans or youngsters. For example, Shawn Lemon is having one of his best seasons under Monson at age 34, while Singleton started as a rookie.

No matter how decision-makers look at it, Monson has the required experience and demeanour to be a successful head coach in the CFL. It’s time for teams to start taking notice.

Justin Dunk is a football insider, sports reporter and anchor.