Montreal Alouettes general manager Jim Popp announced on Tuesday the CFL club hired Dan Hawkins to replace Marc Trestman who was  named the Chicago Bears (NFL) head coach last month. Hawkins, 52, comes to Montreal  with no previous Canadian football coaching experience.


“It just came together that Dan was the right guy as we went through the  process,” said Popp. “We got some very high-profile people call on his behalf  and there were probably two or three candidates that never said anything  negative about somebody and he was one of them.  You don’t get those type of people calling for you unless you’re the  real deal and he’s proven he has been the real deal. He’s a quality, quality  head-coaching prospect and we’re going to give him that opportunity.”


Hawkins introduction in Montreal included an attempt at the French language and his obvious excitement for his first pro head-coaching job.


“You look at when you were a kid out in the yard playing football and you  started making up these other rules that made the game more fun and more  exciting, you’ve got a lot of that in the CFL,” he said. “I mean, everybody’s in  motion.


“In the States, you’ve got one guy in motion. You’ve got a wider field so  you’ve got more space. They’re talking about widening the NFL field right now to  kind of eliminate some of the collisions. All that’s exciting.”


Hawkins resume includes head coaching stops at Boise State (53-11) and Colorado (19-39) aswell as two seasons as a college football analyst for ESPN.


“I’ve always been sort of an out-of-the-box guy,” said Hawkins. “You can  just be as creative as you really want to be and that’s fun from a coach’s  standpoint.”


Mike Miller, who served last season as the Arizona Cardinals’ offensive  co-ordinator, joins Hawkins’ staff as the assistant head coach, offensive  co-ordinator and quarterbacks coach.


“Our goal is to take it from Day 1 and go,” said Miller, who interviewed for  Montreal’s head job. “I think you guys know in professional football there’s  really no grace period.


“We’ve already been working for a few days. We’ll get some player input,  obviously AC (Alouettes veteran Quarterback Anthony Calvillo) being one of them, and we’re going to hit the ground running and  we’re looking forward to it.”


Hawkins’ staff will be rounded out with  Noel Thorpe (defensive  co-ordinator), Ray Rychleski (special-teams co-ordinator), Doug Berry (senior  advisor to head coach), Jean-Marc Edme (defensive assistant, football operations  assistant), Frank Verducci (offensive line coach), Mark Speckman (running backs  coach), Erik Campbell (receivers coach), Keith Willis (defensive line coach),  Mark Nelson (linebackers coach) and Ryan Dinwiddie (offensive quality control  coach).

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