Canadian Football League

Friday, December 15, 2006

Charlie Taaffe is returing to the Canadian Football League

Charlie Taaffe is returning to the CFL with the immense task of trying to rebuild the worst team in the league.
Taaffe was named the new head coach of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on Friday. He succeeds Ron Lancaster, who took over on an interim basis early last season after Greg Marshall was fired.
Taaffe will attempt to turn around a team that was a CFL-worst 4-14 last year and missed the CFL playoffs four of the last five seasons.
"I'm excited to return to the CFL," Taaffe said in a statement. ``I am grateful for the opportunity presented to me by the Ticats organization. Preparation for the 2007 season begins immediately and I look forward to the challenge that lies ahead."
Taaffe spent four successful seasons with the Montreal Alouettes from 1997 to 2000. The first two years he was the club's offensive co-ordinator before being promoted to head coach following the '98 season, replacing Dave Ritchie.
Taaffe, 56, led Montreal to consecutive 12-6 records and a berth in the 2000 Grey Cup before losing 28-26 to the B.C. Lions. But the easy-going Taaffe was voted as the CFL's coach of the year in both seasons by members of the Football Reporters of Canada.
"Charlie has been our first choice since we began the search for our next head coach," said Ticats GM Marcel Desjardins. "He has proven himself at every level he has coached at and his track record in the Canadian Football League speaks for itself. I'm very excited to work alongside Charlie as we prepare for next season."
Taaffe resigned as Alouettes coach following the 2000 season to become the offensive co-ordinator at the University of Maryland. He spent five seasons there before stepping down and spent the 2006 campaign as an offensive consultant with the University of Pittsburgh, replacing a staff member who was taking a leave of absence for health reasons. That coach is expected to return to Pittsburgh next season, making Taaffe expendable.
Taaffe's arrival in Hamilton isn't overly surprising. Desjardins worked with Taaffe for two years in Montreal when Desjardins was the Alouettes assistant GM. Shortly after arriving in Hamilton, Desjardins had said Taaffe was a prime candidate for the Ticats' job.


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