It will be Thorpe's second stint with the CFL club. Thorpe was initially hired to the team's front office by general manager Jim Popp before being appointed special teams co-ordinator by then head coach Don Matthews — a position he held from 2002 to 2007. The Alouettes reached four Grey Cup finals over that stretch, winning it in 2002.
Thorpe makes his return to the CFL after spending the last two seasons in the Canadian varsity ranks with the Universite de Montreal Carabins. Last season, his first as defensive co-ordinator, the Carabins finished the season with an 8-1 record while allowing only 102 points in nine games.
Thorpe was also the head coach of Canada's gold-medal-winning squad at last winter's International Federation of American Football under-19 World Championship in Austin, Texas.
"We welcome Noel back to the Alouettes. He will bring invaluable CFL experience to the staff and has always been very helpful with well thought-out suggestions", Popp said in a statement. "He is a dedicated teacher of the game and has the best interest of the organization in the development of the future of our team. This is a job he has been training and preparing for and he is very excited for the opportunity."
Thorpe, a 41-year-old Vancouver native, was also the Edmonton Eskimos' special teams co-ordinator and defensive backs coach from 2008 to 2010. During his last two seasons in Edmonton, he served as the team's assistant head coach.
"It's a great opportunity for me to be back with the Alouettes and work with Marc Trestman, a proven coach in the CFL," Thorpe said. "I have worked with Jim Popp before and I'm thankful to be back with the organization that gave me my start in professional football and I'm looking forward to working with Marc and the other members of his coaching staff."
Before joining the Alouettes in 2002, Thorpe was the University of British Columbia's special teams co-ordinator and defensive backs coach from 1996 to 2000, helping the Thunderbirds win the Vanier Cup in 1997.
Thorpe takes over for Jeff Reinebold, who was fired by the club on Tuesday.