TORONTO — The Toronto Argonauts have fired head coach Marc Trestman.
The CFL team made the decision on Saturday, one day after capping a league-worst 4-14 season with a 24-9 loss in Ottawa against the Redblacks.
“This was a collective decision that we felt we needed to change,” said Argonauts President Bill Manning in a news conference.
The Argos say they will begin a search for a new coach immediately under the direction of general manager Jim Popp.
Trestman and Popp, who previously worked together with the Montreal Alouettes, both joined the Argos before the 2017 season.
Popp, who sat next to Manning at the Saturday afternoon news conference, said it’s likely that Trestman’s replacement could come out of the CFL.
“I think there’s some strong candidates in our league right now that are with other teams,” Popp said. “We’ll look at all aspects, we’ll look at what’s best. Our league is so unique, you got to look at the situation.”
Trestman was 15-23 overall in his two seasons with the Argonauts.
The Argos hired Popp and Trestman on Feb. 27, 2017, just over three months before the start of the regular season. Toronto headed into the second half of the ’17 campaign with a 4-6 record but won five of its last eight regular-season games to clinch first in the East, then downed Saskatchewan 25-21 in the conference final before capping its campaign with a stunning Grey Cup victory.
Toronto’s 2018 season got off to a rough start when veteran quarterback Ricky Ray sustained a season-ending neck injury during a Week 2 home loss to Calgary.
“We won a Grey Cup last year, we got hot down the stretch, we played fantastic football. … And this year, a lot of those guys returned, guys were very confident, we had depth going into training camp and we lost a lot of people as we went along the way, starting with our Hall of Fame quarterback,” Popp said.
Quarterbacking duties were split between McLeod Bethel-Thomson and James Franklin after Ray’s injury, and Popp said the team “didn’t get consistency” at the position.
Popp said Toronto’s timeline to hire a new coach will likely be spread out over the next little while.
“There’s probably coaches in the playoffs right now that we would have an interest in talking to, and that’s not to speculate on anybody,” he said. “I want those teams to fully concentrate (on winning) a Grey Cup.
“We’re still the champions until someone’s crowned.
The Canadian Press