THE Montreal Alouettes will have a new head coach in 2013 but a familiar face remains under centre.
Quarterback Anthony Calvillo isn't retiring with the departure of Marc Trestman. On Wednesday, the NFL's Chicago Bears named Trestman the 14th head coach in club history.
In December, the 40-year-old Calvillo decided to continue playing, signing a two-year deal following successful surgery to fix a torn muscle in his left shoulder. The Los Angeles native flourished under Trestman, posting consecutive 5,000-yard passing seasons, winning two Grey Cups and two CFL most outstanding player awards while being named a league all-star three times over five seasons.
There were thoughts Calvillo might have a change of heart with Trestman's departure. But the veteran quarterback emphatically stated he's all in for a 20th CFL season.
"One thing I've learned, I'm always going to trust the powers that be, (owner Robert) Wetenhall and (GM) Jim Popp, to get the right people in here to help us win," Calvillo told reporters in Montreal. "Now we're in a situation where they're going to have to find someone but never once did it cross my mind whether to go into retirement because of this decision."
Popp did not immediately return a telephone message.
Calvillo heard of Trestman's appointment early Wednesday and the two spoke when Trestman called Calvillo at his Montreal home and confirmed the news.
"It was so exciting, I was happy for him," Calvillo said. "He proved himself here and now he gets to go back where he started and prove himself there."
Montreal raised eyebrows in 2008 when it hired Trestman. Despite an impressive coaching resume that included 17 seasons as an NFL assistant, the 57-year-old Trestman was hardly a household name in Canada and arrived with no previous CFL experience.
But Trestman did come with a reputation for being an offensive guru and quarterback technician and with Calvillo in tow amassed a 59-31 regular-season record in Montreal. The Alouettes appeared in three Grey Cup games, winning twice, and Trestman was named the '09 CFL coach of the year.
Trestman becomes the first head coach to go directly from CFL to NFL since 1981-'82 when Frank Kush left the Hamilton Tiger-Cats to join the Indianapolis Colts. Trestman also follows the same path travelled by such coaching legends as Bud Grant and Marv Levy.
Calvillo hasn't thought about who might succeed Trestman and doesn't plan on asking to be consulted in the search.
"They never have in the past and I don't want them to," Calvillo said. "I don't want to screw up what they've been developing here and that's a trust factor.
"I'll give my input but now its a matter of putting trust in Mr. Wetenhall and Jim Popp."
-- The Canadian Press