Montreal Alouettes owner Gary Stern had warned, even before the start of the season, that he would not sit idly by for long if his team started the season on a bad note. The first pawn on the chessboard fell on Wednesday as head coach Khari Jones was shown the way out.
It is also general manager Danny Maciocia who will assume the role on an interim basis until the conclusion of the 2022 season.
“This kind of decision is always difficult to make, but it was necessary in our eyes. It was better to take it early in the season, while there is still time,” Maciocia said in a statement.
The move comes days after an embarrassing 41-20 loss to the Saskatchewan Roughriders at Mosaic Stadium. With this setback, the Sparrows thus display a record of 1-3.
Facing the Western team, Jones’ club was completely dominated as soon as they returned from the half-time break. Indiscipline was also a major factor in this defeat and has been a factor that has been hampering the Montreal squad for quite some time now.
Jones also served as forward coordinator for the Als. Since the start of hostilities in the Canadian League in 2022, his offense has scored just six touchdowns, only two of them through the air.
A matter of time
Jones was in the final year of his contract in 2022, having entered the role before the hiring of general manager Danny Maciocia. This foreshadowed that he would be the first to leave, in the event of a bad start to the season.
The 51-year-old was appointed to the role less than a week before the start of the 2019 campaign, after Mike Sherman was fired. He had maintained an impressive record, under the circumstances, of 10-8, good for second place in the Eastern Conference that season. However, the Alouettes had dropped the flag in the first round of playoffs.
Jones returned to the collar in 2021 after the 2020 season was canceled due to COVID-19. During that shortened season, he went 7-7, earning the Montreal organization third place in the East and another playoff berth. Once again, she was shown the exit door in her first game.
Before arriving in Montreal as offensive coordinator in 2018, Jones also held a few positions with the coaching staffs of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, Roughriders and BC Lions.
Besides his coaching experience, Jones also has a few years behind the tie as a player, having served as quarterback for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Calgary Stampeders and Lions. In 130 games, he completed 57.1% of his stints, for 21,383 yards and 145 touchdown passes, against 104 interceptions.
Barron Miles too
Head coach Khari Jones wasn’t the only one to lose his job with the Montreal Alouettes on Wednesday, as defensive coordinator Barron Miles also left.
Noel Thorpe will return to the Als, his third lifetime stint with the organization, and will take on the role of defensive coordinator, in addition to taking care of the defensive backs.
Hired in 2020 as defensive backs coach, the former Canadian Football League (CFL) star safety is very close to Jones.
The Alouettes’ defensive unit has been dominant only once this season. Without being bad, she terribly lacked consistency. After four games, she ranks second to last in the league in rushing yards (427) and majors in aerial plays (5).
Before becoming coach in 2010 with the BC Lions, Miles played 12 seasons in the CFL, six of which with the Alouettes. He is second in league history in steals and was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 2018.