Naylor on the coaching-poaching situation

"The point is there should be a period where coaches are able to interview for other jobs without needing permission to do so. Up until the agreed upon date, teams doing the hiring should be required only to give notice to the team that employs the candidate."

This makes sense to me, although I think there should also be a proviso in the case of an emergency — a coach passes away for example — whereby a team can make an urgent request to another team and not have that request dismissed out of hand because it's past the deadline.

It really is a tough situation for the CFL and its coaches. The pay, while not chump change, isn't near what a coach can make in the NCAA, and there is no pension. Under those conditions it's pretty hard to fault a coach for wanting to secure his family with a high paying job. Though you have to have the feels for the team that loses him. I'm not a 'rider fan, but gosh that's a tough pill to swallow when you lose your coach like that. On the other hand, they poached him from Edmonton, so maybe what goes around comes around.

Your thoughts?

The question is when should that period where coaches don’t need permission be? The timelines when CFL and NFL/NCAA teams are looking for coaches is quite different. But there does have to be a better way.

If a current person is still under contract, I still think the recruiting team has to ask for permission and given the green light by the league office.

Seems like timing is cause of angst here.

The ammendment I would like to see is a deadline within the off season where a team is allowed to ask. I can see the current employer’s point of view of want wanting to replace staff too late in the Winter. The coaching staff can play some influence on where FA’s decide to go or avoid.

My suggested timelines for poaching coaches:

  1. Day after Grey Cup to Dec. 31st - only written (fax, letter, e-mail, text) reqd. by recruiting team to insure no issues - team with recruited coach has 48 hours to affirm request or identify possible issues, after 48 hours the default position holds and the coach in question is deemed available for interview.

  2. January 1st to January 15th - recruiting team still must write other team and response must come within 24 hours - default (no response) would indicate availablity for interview.

  3. January 16th to April 15th - emergency requests only, request coach’s teams have ability to deny requests within 48 hours of send but can also negotiate terms of departure (ie. trading of coaches, players, cash, etc.) to verify

  4. After April 15th - requests must first go to league office for pre-approval within 48 hours. (ie, emergency situations) and if approved teams can negotiate satisfactory outcome (trade) for interview requests (draft pick, neg list player, etc.)
    If coach is successfully poached during this period more incidentals can be requested to complete transaction.

Please … with the low DC wages in the CFL why would a team want to stop a coach from moving to the next level in the hope the team will be rewarded with continuation…why?

That makes sense and during that period teams should be allowed to let coaches go without having to honor the rest of their contracts.

Freedom drives up coaches wage costs for all the teams, as it does to player wages?

Many coaching jobs in the NCAA aren’t that lucrative, like Kent Austin when he was hired as the head coach was earning a reported $85,000. I think it depends on the league. O. Steinhauer was earning $350k as DC at Fresno State, which he quit to return to the CFL.

If a coach or player signs a contract it should be binding for the length of the contract, unless the employer allows him to leave early. Do you think if a senior executive at McDonnell-Douglas could walk a way from his contract early because Boeing offered him a promotion? I don’t think so. He could be privy to confidential information which could be severely detrimental to his present employer if he defected to a competitor. That’s why they have contracts.

It’s the same in the CFL. Once a senior coordinator has taken part in the planning and strategy for the upcoming season, it’s unlikely his team would allow him to take leave for a job with a competitor, while taking all his privileged and confidential information with him. If it’s early enough, say in December, it might be acceptable but perhaps not in late January, like Ottawa and Winnipeg have demonstrated.

If a coach wants an out clause in their contract, to better themselves, then the team should have an out clause with the coach if they want to better the organization at that position as well.
the time frame should be day after the grey cup to 1 week after the superbowl. this way coaches can still explore their NFL opportunities

What does "out of hand" mean?

I agree with the defined date idea ... after that teams could certainly make a request but it would have to remain the discretion of the team being asked … no obligation on one team to create a hole to solve another team's emergency.

When O’Shea gave Lapolice an opportunity to get back in the CFL, he’d been playing with crayons for a couple years on TSN… So at minimum honor your contract if your asked.

A fixed date is fine, so long as it is an interview for a position of clear advancement. I think with the introduction of the new cap that it is needed...and I am sure it will come up in their spring review of it all

Actually the 3 years he was out of coaching in the CFL he was being paid by the bombers as they extended him after the 2011 season through the 2014 season, They fired him a third of the way through the 2012 season. If he would have accepted a coaching position before the expiration of his contract, the bombers would have only been liable for the difference if he was hired at a lower compensation.

Exactly. It would have been silly for him to consider coaching in that time. If TSN had not been paying him...sure.

I can see GMs starting to write in scaled severance into contracts

That was all about removing a threat to O’Shea’s job. Many Bomber fans were calling for Lapo to replace MOS at the time and justifiably so.

Miller, Walters, and O’Shea love taking the credit and being in the limelight but it was Andrew Harris coming home regardless of coach or manager that has been the biggest change for the Bombers.

Lapo has helped but Harris has been the key to the limited success the Bombers have attained.

I could make a counterargument. It may have been silly for LaPo to consider an assistant coaching job during his hiatus, but it probably would have been wise to take another head coaching job (if offered). Otherwise there's a chance that his name starts to fade further down the prospect list, and potentially by 2019 - seven years after being fired - he's still not back in the HC role he covets. That's a big chunk of time in the context of a coaching career.

…Can’t blame riders for trying BUT they must have known this was going to be a very tough situation approaching any club for a hire…Not only is the timing bad but the lack of credible prospects to fill a vital vacancy is also a big concern…Regina had that foisted on them by their former illustrious coach … and expecting other clubs to bend and put their season in jeopardy, because of that fact, is ridiculous to the extreme …Bombers have/had every right to refuse an interview with a main cog on their team…Same applies to the situation in Ottawa…although it seems the Bombers are bearing the brunt of all of the criticism…I’m sure Sask. would have just loved to weaken a rival in their division this late in the game and acquire an OC of Paul’s calibre…Bad timing for Sask,Paul and the Bombers and it ended the way it should have…Firm policy and acceptable off season dates, to hire coaches of any calibre in this league, have to be addressed so this ambiguity ends

Where does one go after you get fired by the termite king of canadian football - Country Joe Mack?

Nowhere, it seems!

Getting fired by Joe Mack is pretty much the deepest insult a professional coach can be inflicted with.

Plop was not in a good place - other than getting paid a whole bunch o' money NOT TO COACH - Mack was so inept he had the team sign LaPolice to a longterm contract and LaPolice made them pay - rather than take another job as an assistant - he turned his talents to television commentating - and was probably one of the best ever - Lancaster was the best in CFL history - Frank Rigney a close 2nd - Plop didn't work games but he was the first coach who did extensive analysis prior & during games. Excellent immo.

Bombers new canadian mafia regime (not known by that monicker but mostly a pudgy little beastie boy, a green in the gills GM & a bermuda shorts wearing head coach didn't have much in the tank - and they pleaded with PLOP to take the OC job. They had to fess up and make Plop the highest paid OC in the league plus guarantee said contract. Saddled with an immobile QB, a stubborn head coach and no real breakaway receivers - Plop has done the most with the least - he did get Andrew Harris plus a VG+ o-line and stability in the organization. The QB he inherited was a tad better than the vermin he had in his last go-round as HC.

Funny little world - he might not get another opportunity to head coach for awhile. Unless the fix is in at Riderland - where Craig Dick might only be in a 1-year situation - perhaps Plop will run the year out in Wpg. and paddle back to the safe harbour of TSN - depending on whether they need him - and whether he can make at least $200k for 6 months of football analysis?

I don't really agree. Lapo was widely seen as a coach in a hard spot. The situation around him was far from ideal. he could take a coaching job and basically the new money replaces the buyout...or he could take that buyout and earn even more elsewhere. He knew he was going to get offers down the road. The lifespan of a coach in a organization that doesn't have their sh*t together is pretty the time, there were not really any glowing why go for strike 2 as a HC and leave money on the table? Not a great scenario.

If the Esks struggle, he will probably be there in 2020...

I wouldn’t be surprised if Craig Dickenson wasn’t O’Day’s choice all along. GM’s like to bring in other candidates and pick their brains on what they would do if they were Coach etc. A good way to get other ideas.
I believe Chamblin was Popp’s choice all along but he still interviewed others for the same reasons mentioned above.
Lapo figured that out and pulled his name form the Argo list, but he didn’t get that far in Saskatchewan.
Still think Lapo could be a good HC in the League. Maybe Halifax.