Benevides gets his walking papers

Well, after about 25 years of hard work and sacrifice, Mike Benevides finally got to run a CFL team as a head coach. That was back in 2012. But I guess the way things have been going over the past 3 years the writing was on the wall.

After 3 years as head coach the Lions have parted company with head coach Mike Benevides. Though the team made the playoffs in each of the 3 years Mike was head coach the team never won a playoff game. The good news for Benevides is that he still has two years salary coming. I'm sure he was making an annual six figured salary. This will go far while unemployed.

But what does a guy in his mid forties do now. Will he be picked up by another team as a coordinator perhaps? I wish Benevides and his family well as they begin to sort things out and seek new opportunities. It has to be difficult emotionally to be the head coach of an entire pro football team one day and to be unemployed the next.

It will be interesting to see who fills the head coaching position and what other personnel changes the Lions will need to make. For sure Benevides was not thrown under the bus on this one but Wally Buono has to take some of the ownership after all he was the guy signing up players, some of whom were disappointments.

I wonder who the next Lions head coach will be and more importantly if that individual will be able to make a difference with the personnel management brings in. Clearly, upper management figured Benevides should have done better with the team he was given despite losing key players during the season.

It's got to be tough being a head coach. Good luck Mike Benevides. :thup:

Ya good luck Mike. :thup: can't fault him too much I've said this before Wally knew when to move upstairs, unfortunately he didn't leave much left for MB to work with. Lulay going down didn't help either, but Blame Wally for trading away a franchise QB (thanks BTW :wink: )
Maybe he can go back to a defensive coordinator which he was very good at or head coach on another team Ottawa comes to mind for both and he's from that area.

If I’m him I apply for UBC opening.

if Chapdelaine can get a coaching gig I don't see why M.B. can't. Maybe the Bears will let Mark Trestman come to B.C. with the Bears not doing so hot.

Trestman to B.C. ? Could the Lions afford him?

This should be the plum job in the CFL. Great city. Great stadium. Terrific training and practice facility. However having Buono up the hall could present some challenges. I definitely feel he is a micro manager. And micro managers generally like to hire somebody who they can keep under their watch. Somebody the know. Buono doesn't generally stray too far from his tree when hiring. And he has to hire an offensive mind.
I think both Dickenson or George Cortez will be in his sights.

Dickenson would be the most popular hire for sure. But I'm not sure they are on the best of terms actually. Buono messed up with he and Printers. Then he cut him. There just seemed to be a lot of barbs between the two. But Dickenson would get some really good press. I think he still owns a house there too.

Then they need to get a QB. And I believe there is a messy culture on this team. So there will be a lot of changes.

In thinking about this more I think Buono will be behind the bench next year. I cannot see Braley paying a HC to be unemployed. Buono extended Benevides prior to this season. That will be repaid by Buono to some extent this coming year I believe.

Here's what Lowell Ullrich wrote recently about possible head coaching candidates for BC going forward:


An early list of possible head coach replacement candidates, along with the early Province line for getting the top coaching job with the B.C. Lions:

Dave Dickenson — Clearly he would be not only the front-runner of the Lions, having put in his time as offensive coordinator and assistant head coach with the Calgary Stampeders, but a fan base who would dearly love him back. He has solid Calgary roots but hasn’t given up all ties to the Lower Mainland. He was recently in the process of selling a White Rock condo, which was home this season to Kevin Glenn. But it’s also reasonable to think Stamps coach/GM John Hufnagel will relinquish his coaching job to keep Dickenson, especially if Calgary can win the Grey Cup this year. Odds: 3-2.

Mark Washington — B.C. had to move Rich Stubler aside last season to keep Washington in the fold and make him a first-year defensive coordinator. All he did was deliver, until the end of the season at least, with a defence that surrendered 96 fewer points than last year. Odds: 4-1.

Paul LaPolice — TSN analyst turned down Benevides last year when there was a chance to be next in line. The former Winnipeg coach said he didn’t want to uproot his family. A chance to install his offence again might make him think differently. Odds: 6-1.

Orlondo Steinauer — Kent Austin gets credit as head coach in Hamilton for the revival of the Tiger-Cats but it is the work of their second-year defensive coordinator which has played a big part of the turnaround. Odds: 8-1.

Noel Thorpe — Another defensive-minded assistant who has paid his dues in Montreal and Edmonton. Thorpe runs an attack defence in the mold of Don Matthews and would be coming home. Odds: 8-1.

Marc Trestman — A fan board candidate based purely on wishful thinking. Trestman is still coaching the Chicago Bears, and even if he is fired as predicted, he would still be in line for any number of higher-paying positions in the NFL and NCAA. Odds: 25-1.


There was an interesting comment on the pre game today that Jeff Garcia is a potential candidate.

When you think about it he would get great press, create a buzz and knows Wally well. He has great presence, no question about it. Lives on the West Coat too.

Garcia was quoted in the comment as saying he is absolutely ready for a HC job.

Kind of fits. I'd like to see it.

Woot! Garcia or Dickenson ... either one would be fantastic. Dickenson's not interested, but Garcia is.
Nice article in the Calgary Sun who got a chance to talk to him.

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Good find Vanbeethoven. I'm surprised that Dickenson would not be interested in the job. I guess he feels he's ready to take on an HC position but it has to be the right position. I don't know much about Garcia but from the article link you posted it appears he has the credentials. Very interesting.

I love Benevides, I think he's a super guy and an asset to any organization. But the truth is that this year, the Lions did not respond well to adversity at all. Many times they started well but when the opponent struck back the Lions lost focus and folded up.

Week 1 against Edmonton, started out 14-3 lead, let it slip away with uninspiring effort.

Guaranteed win night, started out with a bang, 2 long punt returns and 10-0 lead. Then the Riders started running the ball and making plays, the defense lost all focus on the field and the whole team just didn't have an answer for the intensity that Sask brought.

Geroy Simon night was inexcusable. A complete non-effort.

Once Ricky Ray started rolling, the Lions just sagged. Could not respond mentally. Totally uninspired. Final score 40-23.

The only games where the Lions looked truly impressive for 4 quarters were the ones where the opposition didn't provide a challenge. Montreal in Week 4, Ottawa on Thanksgiving.

It almost never failed (the win in Calgary is an exception, the win against Hamilton might be too) but whenever the opponent raised their intensity and made some plays the Lions backed down, and this was EXACTLY what happened in the 3rd quarter in Montreal. Montreal started making plays and imposing their will and the Lions packed up and went home. It was shameful.

It is the head coach's responsibility to make sure that the team's psyche is focused on the task at hand and that the team's intensity level remains as high as it can be for 60 minutes. After three years of declining results and especially the way that they lost so many games this season that Wally needed to hold Bene accountable for the team's lack of focus and poor response to adversity. Sad to see a great guy let go, but I have to agree with the move.

No doubt that Benevides did his best Prairiedog72 and certainly he’s a guy of integrity. I’m sure he has other irons in the fire and will find something connected with pro football. Paul LaPolice did.

Recently Dickenson said he's not interested in coaching the Lions. First year OC Mark Washington might be able to make the jump to head coach, but then they'd need a new DC, not a great idea after the Lions' defence gave up 33 fewer points in the 2014 season than in 2013, averaging a stingy 20.3 points per game against. Paul LaPolice is an intriguing choice. He'd probably want to instigate his offence, so where does that leave Khari Jones? And would Jones even be asked back in 2015 after a sub-par first year running the Lions' offense, where they scored a whopping 124 fewer points in 2014 than in 2013, averaging just 21.1 point per game, far below their 2013 total of 28 points per game?

I think it is a long shot that Wally would coach again next year, but we can't totally discount it until he flat out denies it. That leaves the lesser candidates like George Cortez, Noel Thorpe, possibly a Jeff Garcia. Of the three on Cortez had head coach experience, and only for about half a hear in Hamilton in 2012 on a really dismal team. Mark Trestman is only wishful thinking, if and until the Bears brass gas him after their dismal 2014 season. Of course were he available he'd be a terrific choice. One thing's for sure: qualified applicants will be beating a path to Wally's office from now until he chooses one of them. Personally I'd prefer someone with a proven track record of success at the head coach level, whether he comes out of the CFL or from the United States.

Another thing we haven't talked about is how much of the Lions offensive woes in 2014 were due to these three factors, rather than just a generally less than stellar level of execution on offence:

  1. a spate of injuries to key people (Lulay, Harris, Courtney Taylor, the whole left side of the offensive line for at left half the season), which caused all sorts of protection problems that affected Kevin Glenn's ability to develop any sort of rhythm for much of the year

  2. expanded rosters (from 44 to 46) which allowed the teams to dress two more guys to address their weaknesses from last year

  3. the general drop in offensive production and point scoring this year, due to an exceptional year of defensive play all around the league (except in Winnipeg and Ottawa. It wasn't just us who underperformed on offense this year.

I also thought BC were too quick to give up on key veteran team leaders during the last three years, especially Geroy Simon and Paris Jackson. The loss to injury of Angus Reid, who anchored that O line for over a decade, resulted in some inconsistency at the center position. I'm still not sold on Matt Norman, who seems to get beat more often than any other of the four regular linemen (Ramsay, Hardrick, Fabien or Valli and Olafioye).

Anyway it's all water under the bridge now. Time to start focussing on the early report on draft eligible CIS players, that will come out in January and get back to being a "Nucks fan. And keeping an eye on the PGA Tour, my other favourite distractions after the CFL season is in the books.

Dooger in Surrey :cowboy:

Time To re build that means re build the fan base starting all over again ,

Well Dickenson stays in Calgary, Cortez is available, Danny Barretts named was mentioned, and this poll from the Chicago Tribune ... story.html

Some reports have mentioned former CFL and Cal coach Jeff Tedford as being a legit candidate to become the next head coach for the Lions. He has a history with Wally back in Calgary. He turned around a struggling Cal program and left as their all-time winningest coach.