Montreal Alouettes Fire Dan Hawkins after 2-3 CFL Start

Al Dannity | Updated Aug 01, 2013

Dan Hawkins was sensationally ousted as head coach of the Alouettes on Thursday, with general manager Jim Popp taking over. Al Dannity gives his take.

That was quick. Dan Hawkins is gone from Montreal, just days after arresting a 3 loss slide. The Als beat Edmonton 32-27 in Week 5 but it wasn’t enough to convince the upper management that he was the right man for the job. The timing of the move may be a surprise but Hawkins was hanging by a thread despite being early in his tenure. Grumblings about a poor training camp gave the impression that many in the team felt they were unprepared for the grind of the CFL season. Anthony Calvillo’s start has been abysmal by his lofty standards, a sign that the offence simply wasn’t working. One win wasn’t going to fix the problems for the Als. They needed to make a change and they needed to do it fast.

Jim Popp, Montreal’s General Manager, will take over as head coach. Popp’s familiar with the players and has been in this position before. Popp took over from Rod Rust in 2001 and did so again when Don Matthews departed during the 2006 campaign. Popp stayed on for the 2007 season, posting an 8-10 record, before returning to the front office. His on-field record may not be stellar but he’s the type of voice that can unite the locker room.

“Jim is the person most responsible for the success we have had over all these years,” Alouettes owner Bob Wetenhall said in a statement. “I feel confident that he is the best person to coach our team at this time and I am very appreciative of him being willing to make this additional contribution to our franchise. He has the respect of our players as well as mine.”

For Hawkins this has to be seen as the worst possible outcome. Having failed in Colorado, where so many have before and after, he had a shot in Montreal to rebuild his reputation. The last guy to be head coach of the Als, Marc Trestman, used that gig as a launch-pad into the NFL. That was the redemption on offer. Twitter has been anything but kind to the newly unemployed coach. Hawkins screwed up badly. Montreal isn’t Boise or Boulder and the CFL isn’t the NCAA. Clearly the coach didn’t recognise the adjustment he’d have to make to handle the pro game. On the upside, if Dave Wannstedt can keep getting work there’s hope for him yet. I just pity the fan-base that gets him.