NEWS

Alouettes axe head coach Dan Hawkins

08/01/2013 09:00 EDT | Updated 10/01/2013 05:12 EDT
Dan Hawkins’s first head-coaching job in the Canadian Football League lasted five games.

Montreal Alouettes general manager Jim Popp fired his February hire after Hawkins guided the team to a 2-3 start this season and will assume the position himself.

Hawkins, who took over after Marc Trestman left to coach the National Football League’s Chicago Bears in January, spent the previous two seasons as a college football analyst for ESPN but served as the head coach at Boise State and Colorado.

Hawkins sported a lowly 19-39 win-loss mark at Colorado but was an impressive 53-11 at Boise State and entered 2013 with an overall record of 112-61-1.

Montreal halted a three-game losing skid a week ago with a 32-27 victory over Edmonton on the strength of six Sean Whyte field goals and Brandon Whitaker's 162 rushing yards.

There had been speculation that the Alouettes may fire Hawkins or offensive co-ordinator Mike Miller if they lost, but the Alouettes responded with with their best offensive performance of the season.

Anthony Calvillo has a quarterback rating of 79.5 through five games this season, his lowest since his first season in Montreal in 1998.

He wasn't aware of Hawkins's hiring until Alouettes owner Robert Wetenhall called him two days before the team made it public.

"We now have to buy into the philosophy of Dan Hawkins and that's going to be something I'm going to do this off-season," Calvillo told reporters in February. "I've trusted Mr. Wetenhall and Jim Popp every time they brought in a new head coach and now it's our turn as players to buy into what Dan is going to bring to the table and try not to compare too much of what your last coach did."

Trestman compiled a 59-31-0 regular-season record over five years, won two Grey Cups and was named CFL coach of the year in 2009.

Popp raised eyebrows at that time as Trestman came to Montreal with no previous CFL coaching experience and had never been a head coach.

Hawkins took over a club that finished atop the East Division at 11-7 in 2012. But the Alouettes fell 27-20 to the eventual Grey Cup champion Toronto Argonauts in the division final.

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