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Wednesday, December 14, 2016

ALS MAKE REED HIRING OFFICIAL

Kavis Reed understands he has big shoes to fill.

The 43-year-old native of Georgetown, S.C., was officially named general manager of the Montreal Alouettes on Wednesday. In his first foray into CFL management Reed has the unenviable task of replacing Jim Popp, who led the franchise to eight Grey Cup appearances - and three wins - over his 21 seasons in the post before being fired Nov. 7.

"They're huge shoes,'' Reed said in a telephone interview after being introduced to Montreal reporters. "What we're chasing is what he had established.

"We're trying to recapture the winning ways that he established over his more than 20-year tenure here. He has to be recognized for the culture he built in Montreal, the expectation he helped to build here.''

Popp built Montreal into one of the CFL's premier teams. From 1996, when the franchise relocated from Baltimore, to 2007, it never had a losing record. Starting in 1999, it finished atop the East Division 10 times over a 14-year span.

But Montreal has missed the CFL playoffs the last two seasons and last won the Grey Cup in 2010. Popp never effectively replaced veteran quarterback Anthony Calvillo after he suffered a career-ending concussion in 2013 and struggled to lead the Als to success when he assumed coaching duties after firing both Dan Hawkins and Tom Higgins.

Popp opened the 2016 season on the sidelines but was 3-9 when replaced on an interim basis by Jacques Chapdelaine. Montreal finished 4-2 under Chapdelaine, a native of Sherbrooke, Que., who Reed promptly hired as the club's full-time head coach Saturday.

"His leadership, his football IQ, his discipline, his football experience and his temperament are what I feel we need to move this franchise back to the future of winning,'' Reed said.

Chapdelaine hasn't spoken to his assistant coaches regarding next year but plans to do so shortly.

"We have some very good coaches,'' he said. "We basically experienced two seasons last year.

"They were good coaches right from the get-go and we want to make sure we have a private conversation with those individuals before we can have a public conversation with (media).''

The appointment of Reed - Montreal's special-teams co-ordinator the last two years and its assistant head coach in 2016 - and Chapdelaine were expected. But the hiring of Patrick Boivin as president and chief executive officer Wednesday was surprising.

Boivin replaces Mark Weightman, who resigned after four seasons as president and 21 years in the organization.

Andrew Wetenhall, Montreal's lead governor and owner Bob Wetenhall's son, said Weightman informed the organization of his intention long ago and Boivin, 38, the former director of recreation and athletics at Concordia University, was hired about two weeks ago.

Wetenhall said the Alouettes wanted Danny Maciocia, the former Edmonton Eskimos head coach and GM, to join the organization but the two sides couldn't come to terms. Maciocia, the University of Montreal head coach, was interviewed for the general manager's job but was offered the president of football operations post instead because Reed had apparently already filled that vacancy. Wetenhall said Reed was hired 10 days ago.

Wetenhall said had Maciocia joined the Alouettes, he would've reported to Boivin. Wetenhall added Reed scored the highest of five candidates interviewed for the GM position.

"We had a very rigourous and well-defined GM selection process ... Kavis came out as the selection,'' he said. "To be candid, we really liked Danny.

"Patrick was involved in making the decision to make an offer to Danny. We offered Danny the role of president of the club, which Danny then proceeded to negotiate with us to discuss what he would or wouldn't do. We didn't end up with an agreement ... and we have a president and CEO.''

Robert Wetenhall was absent from Wednesday's announcements. The junior Wetenhall has become more involved with the Alouettes in recent years but said that's not a sign of changing times within the CFL franchise's hierarchy.

"Bob Wetenhall is the owner of this team, he's intricately involved in the ownership decisions we make,'' he said. "I'm now a partner with my father in evaluating and making decisions but by no means can we declare that this is the exit of Bob Wetenhall and the entrance of Andrew Wetenhall.''

Reed's appointment comes roughly six years after he embarked on preparing himself for a GM job. Reed, who has spent 21 years in the CFL as a player and coach, said he returned to school to better understand the business side of the job and learned valuable lessons from such mentors as Edmonton president Len Rhones, Hamilton GM Eric Tillman and former CFL GM Joe Mack.

But Reed said it was Wetenhalls' passion that convinced him Montreal was where he should embark on his new career path.

"They are extremely passionate about doing the right things and growing people,'' he said. "They truly are about people.''

(CP)

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

I guess it's the payoff for giving them the '09 Grey Cup.

Brian Shepherd said...

WOW!!!

Anonymous said...

Durant to Montreal, Cato to Sask....

Anonymous said...

Yawn ... all I can say is this is a very good hire. Astute long term professional football franchise hire. Could Roy be pried out from BC with Danny, Darian soon following thereafter to compliment the team reboot?
Congratulations Kavis Reed.

Mr Anonymous

PS, why all the haters in Sask? Oh yeah! 13th man on.

Lewis Grant said...

Wow, this sounds like a disaster in the making. A surprise resignation by a CEO/20-year veteran of the organization? That's not good news. Sounds like Wetenhall wants more influence in the organization, and we've all seen how that worked out. How far they have fallen since the Trestman era.

I hope they prove me wrong, because if the team is badly run, it's bad for the league.

Anonymous said...

It is payoff for Kavis giving the riders Grey Cup win in 09 to the Als

Anonymous said...

Cato and DeMarco, the next great QB duo of the Riders. Woo Hoo!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Wow, this sounds like a disaster in the making.

That would be jones and murphy with the riders - oh yes it already is a disaster

Anonymous said...

Per #CFL sources: The Saskatchewan Roughriders have fired their training staff. Typical pro sports. Go 5-13, easy scapegoat are trainers.

and who is the crasy one !!!!!!

Alex said...

Consequences...

Anonymous said...

Kavis Reed, bah humbug, "there will be conseqiences"