Trestman returns to CFL as Argonauts coach


Marc Trestman has returned to the Canadian Football League as the Toronto Argonauts named him their new head coach Tuesday.

Trestman, 61, was the head coach of the Montreal Alouettes in 2013 when the Chicago Bears hired him to be their new coach. The Bears fired him after just two seasons. He had a 13-19 record in his short stint in Chicago.

The Baltimore Ravens then hired him to be the team’s offensive coordinator but lasted less than two seasons in the role when he was fired by coach John Harbaugh in 2016 after a Week 5 loss to the Washington Redskins.

Trestman has enjoyed far more success in the CFL. He led the Alouettes to two Grey Cup titles in his five seasons as head coach. The Argonauts also hired Jim Popp as their new general manager Tuesday. Popp was the Alouettes’ GM during Trestman’s time as head coach of the team. In his 21 seasons as Montreal’s GM, the team won three Grey Cup titles.

Before becoming the Alouettes’ coach, Trestman was a longtime NFL assistant and served as the offensive coordinator for the Cleveland Browns, San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders. He was Oakland’s offensive coordinator in 2002, a season in which quarterback Rich Gannon was named the NFL’s MVP and the Raiders suffered a 48-21 defeat to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Super Bowl XXXVII.

Gannon was 37 when he won the MVP award in Trestman’s system in 2002 after throwing for 4,689 yards and 26 touchdowns.

In Toronto, Trestman will be starting another 37-year-old quarterback. The new head coach said Tuesday that Ricky Ray will be the team’s starter at the position over Drew Willy. Ray, who has battled injuries the past few seasons, has won three Grey Cup titles (two with Edmonton Eskimos, one with the Argonauts).

“I have seen Ricky Ray play and he’s a Hall of Fame quarterback who’s won championships,” Trestman told reporters Tuesday. “I did have a conversation with him last week. … I’ll just give you the bottom line of our conversation — he wants to come here in the best physical condition of his career. He’s excited to play and he will come in here as the starting quarterback. There will be no competition. He and I will decide whether he’s capable of doing that as we move along.”

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