The Montreal Alouettes have parted ways with head coach Mike Sherman and replaced him with offensive coordinator Khari Jones.
Saturday’s surprise announcement was made hours before the Alouettes were required to unveil their 46-man roster for the start of the 2019 season.
Sherman, whose resumé includes a successful run with the Green Bay Packers of the National Football League, was starting his second season as head coach after posting a 5-11 record in 2018.
In a statement released by the team Saturday morning, general manager Kavis Reed said the organization and Sherman had agreed to part ways, which was a polite way of saying the coach was shown the door.
The coaching change is the latest in a series of setbacks for the Als who have has been taken over the by the Canadian Football League after former owner Bob Wettenhall and his son Andrew failed to find a new owner for the financially troubled team.
“We would like to thank Mike Sherman for his hard work and dedication with our team,” said Reed said in a statement. “We would have preferred a different turn of events, but we believe that we are making this decision with the best interest of our organization and our team in mind.”
“We had identified some key elements from last year where we wanted to see some changes, but unfortunately, these adjustments did not materialize,” he added. “These decisions are never easy to take, but we believe that this is the right one to make. Our team is in good hands as Khari showed great things in 2018 and has a very solid experience in the CFL.”
Jones, who joined the Alouettes coaching staff in 2018, was a CFL quarterback for 11 years, playing for the B.C. Lions, Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Calgary Stampeders, Edmonton Eskimos and Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
He started off as a coach with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in 2009, working with the quarterbacks in his first two seasons before being promoted to offensive coordinator. In 2012 and 2013, he coached the Saskatchewan Roughriders quarterbacks. The team won the Grey Cup in his second year.
“This is a tremendous honour,” Jones said in a statement. “I would have liked this announcement to occur in different circumstances, but I am ready to take on this new challenge. We have a great coaching staff and a group of hard working, talented players. I am looking forward to seeing our players come together as we all work with them with one goal in mind.”
The Alouettes start the regular season Friday night when they travel to Edmonton to play the Eskimos.