Canadian Football League

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Desjardins lands first Canadian Football League GM Job

Rob Katz looked to the perennially contending Montreal Alouettes for his successor, hiring Marcel Desjardins as the new general manager of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
Desjardins spent the last four-plus seasons as an assistant to Alouettes GM Jim Popp and previously worked at the Canadian Football League's head office in Toronto.
This may have taken a little bit longer than I had expected or wanted," Desjardins said at a news conference Tuesday. "But I'm very confident that this is the right job and right organization."
A native of nearby Burlington, Ont., Desjardins is in charge of running a Hamilton outfit that is last in the Eastern Division with a 2-9 record.
"Growing up near Hamilton and following the Ticats as a youngster, this is a dream opportunity for me that I couldn't pass up. I'm very excited," Desjardins said.
Katz said he was impressed with Desjardins's recruiting skills and ability to build a team within a system.
"Marcel has quite a unique skill set to become a successful general manager in this league," said Katz. "I'm convinced his experience and leadership will help us build a winning team."
On Monday, Katz fired offensive co-ordinator Joe Paopao and offensive line coach Kani Kauahi in the aftermath of Saturday's embarrassing 51-8 home loss to Saskatchewan.
Ticats owner Bob Young promoted Katz to interim GM on Aug. 11, 2005, after the latter had worked in the team's business office.
Katz has a strong background in sports marketing and communications, but had never worked in a football operations capacity. He will now focus on the club's business interests.
Katz made one last move Monday, trading defensive lineman Adriano Belli to Montreal for defensive lineman Clinton Wayne and defensive back Phillip Gauthier.
On Sunday, Katz told the Hamilton Spectator on Sunday that all phases of the team's football operation, including coaches, would be reviewed.
"We're going to spend the better part of [this week] looking at how we do everything as an organization," he said. "We need to get better in a big way."
Hamilton, which hasn't scored a touchdown in three consecutive home games, will host archrival Toronto Argonauts on Monday in the annual Labour Day Classic.
Ticats interim head coach Ron Lancaster, offensive assistant Perry Marchese and player-personnel director Craig Smith will handle the offence.


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