Catch the Gray Cup game between the Alouettes and Blue Bombers on Sunday at 5pm with the pre-game show on RDS and on RDS.ca.
HAMILTON – Marc Trestman is the first to admit it: he and Jason Maas have very different personalities. But he shares the common ground of leading the Alouettes to the Gray Cup game in their first season in Montreal.
After the 2008 loss at Olympic Stadium, Trestman allowed the Alouettes to hoist the trophy — which is celebrating its 110th award — in 2009 and 2010.
Thirteen years later, Trestman was quick to accept an invitation to talk about how he came full circle with the influence of his coaching journey.
Because, of course, in 2010, Anthony Calvillo was the quarterback for the Alouettes, and now he works as the offensive coordinator and running backs coach.
But the loop isn’t limited to Calvillo. Luc Brodeur-Jourdain made the jump from the center of the offensive line to coach this unit. Trestman mentored Cody Fajardo with the Argonauts in 2017. Trestman also had Greg Quick – the Alouettes’ linebackers coach – on his defensive staff in Toronto.
Not forgetting the bond that has been established between Trestman and Maas over the years.
“It’s a lot of ongoing relationships and great friendships,” Trestman responded via video conference with RDS.ca.
The face of this football scholar is adorned with a smile that inspires pride.
“I was so lucky to get to a very talented group in Montreal, but above all good people. I see Davis Sanchez on TSN, Scott Flory who is successful as a coach (at the college level), a lot of coaches in this environment including the NFL (like Marcus Brady), I also think of Matthieu Proulx, Étienne Boulay and SJ Green. I still keep in touch with them, they become family members and the Alouettes are still part of my family. I could not be more proud of what they have achieved,” described the 67-year-old.
While covering the highlights of the Alouettes’ season, Trestman exchanged messages with Maas, Calvilla, Fajardo, Quick, Brodeur-Jourdain and president Mark Weightman.
With his experience and knowledge, he is able to understand how Maas could, like him, have a big positive impact on the Alouettes upon his arrival.
“Jason doesn’t have the same personality as me at all, but he is authentic, transparent and passionate. The most important thing is that he is consistent in his approach and above all he loves the players. They know that. When people know they are loved and cared for, it can make a ripple,” Trestman said.
“This 2023 edition has gotten stronger as the season progresses. Jason and his assistants set the tone,” the career coach added.
Solid era with Maas as well as Trestman?
After Trestman’s successful five-year reign, several coaches took control of the Birds such as Dan Hawkins and Mike Sherman. The Maas era appears to be established on a firmer foundation, but the Montreal market has been a long time coming.
“I never thought about it that way. I’m certainly excited for all the Alouettes fans, the province of Quebec and Montreal fans. It’s a great soccer region as I’ve noticed over the years in Montreal. It’s a long wait, but I know the Alouettes community is excited. You take me back to 2010, it takes me back to these two championships, this rich experience of living in Montreal and our family environment,” explained the American who has adapted well to the CFL.
“As I’ve always said, my greatest luck was being able to bet on Anthony. He was at the heart of all our successes, he gave hope to everyone in the organization,” he recalled.
This Calvillo, Trestman sees coming to the next stage.
“I believe he is ready to lead a CFL team now. People didn’t have a chance to see how well everyone listens when they speak. Good leaders can do this with words as well as actions. AC led by example every day and when we needed a player for an important game, he was always there. »
As for Brodeur-Jourdain, he was too early in his career for Trestman to assume he would become a coach, “but he already had the talent as a communicator and the passion.”
At first glance, it is evident that the current edition of the Alouettes relies primarily on its defense, while the attack of Calvill and Trestman created chaos.
Except that clarification is needed.
“In 2009, we had one of the best defenses in CFL history until Game 15. Additionally, we won the championship in 2010 largely due to our defense holding up during a more defensive game (21-18). Billy Parker made the game-winning interception,” Trestman said.
Two major challenges appear in Maas’ reach. Beat Trestman to lift the Gray Cup in his first year in Montreal and established himself among the CFL’s powerhouses in a matter of seasons.
“I never saw it that way because I took things one day at a time. Even after the championship in 2009, I never said we were going for the double, because the team was different in 2010. However, Jason will approach the rest in his own way,” concluded Trestman, who will not be far away to answer his questions or those of Calville, Brodeur-Jourdain , Fajardo and company.