CFL

Alouettes ink GM Maciocia, head coach Maas to long-term extensions after Grey Cup win

Danny Maciocia reached a pinnacle in the CFL by building a Grey Cup champion this year. But instead of resting on his laurels, the Montreal Alouettes general manager is hungry to build on that momentum. Maciocia has runway to do so after the Alouettes signed him and head coach Jason Maas to long-term contract extensions on Wednesday.

Maciocia signs 4-year contract; Maas extended for 3 years

Two men smile while sitting behind a table with a football and football helmet on it.
Head Coach Jason Maas, right, and General Manager Danny Maciocia signed extensions with the Alouettes on Wednesday after winning the Grey Cup in November. (Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press/File)

Danny Maciocia reached a pinnacle in the CFL by building a Grey Cup champion this year.

But instead of resting on his laurels, the Montreal Alouettes general manager is hungry to build on that momentum.

Maciocia has runway to do so after the Alouettes signed him and head coach Jason Maas to long-term contract extensions on Wednesday.

"Yes we won the Grey Cup, yes we're happy, but the team that we have around us is never satisfied," Maciocia said at Olympic Stadium. "That inspires me a lot because we know these are people who will continue to work. We want to keep winning games, we want to keep making the fans happy."

WATCH | Alouettes stun Bombers to win Grey Cup:

Montreal Alouettes win Grey Cup over Winnipeg Blue Bombers

5 months ago
Duration 2:45
The Montreal Alouettes upset the Winnipeg Blue Bombers with a late-game touchdown to win the 2023 Grey Cup with a final score of 28-24.

Maciocia signed a four-year contract through 2027, while Maas was extended three years through 2026.

The GM is hoping the Alouettes organization can become a standard in the CFL during that time frame.

"I want to get on a little bit of a run here," Maciocia said. "I don't know if it's too soon to say we want to be maybe the reference of the CFL [with] the way we're structured and the direction that we're headed in."

The Alouettes won their eighth Grey Cup in franchise history and first since 2010 with a 28-24 victory over the heavily favoured Winnipeg Blue Bombers on Nov. 19.

Maciocia joined the Alouettes as general manager in 2020 after coaching the University of Montreal Carabins from 2011-2019. He has a 27-23 record in three seasons as GM.

The 56-year-old from Montreal spent a couple seasons under unstable ownership before Quebec businessman Pierre Karl Peladeau bought the Alouettes in March.

He says working with a long-term contract in hand makes "a world of difference."

"You can plan," he said. "When you're working on a one-year deal, you got to worry about now, and sometimes you're making decisions on now and not about tomorrow.

"Now the situation is a little bit different, even for Jason, he can address today, he can address tomorrow and he can address probably the next few years. Whenever we sit down now and we discuss trades, draft picks personnel moves, we can talk short term and we can talk long term, and that I think is extremely beneficial for us as an organization."

Savvy moves

Several of Maciocia's moves contributed to the Alouettes' championship run. Among them, signing eventual Grey Cup MVP Cody Fajardo at quarterback and bolstering Montreal's defence midseason by adding defensive lineman Shawn Lemon and linebacker Darnell Sankey.

But Maciocia has repeatedly said hiring Maas was the most important decision of all after Montreal went 11-7 in the regular season under his watch before a triumphant run in the post-season.

For Maas, the extension comes just over a year after the 48-year-old from Beaver Dam, Wisc., signed on to be coach on Dec. 17, 2022, after he was fired as the Saskatchewan Roughriders' offensive co-ordinator.

"[Almost] this time last year I was unemployed, I didn't have a job," Maas said over a video call. "I don't lose sight of that, I don't lose sight of the opportunity I was given and how thankful and grateful I am for Danny taking a chance on me."

The two pillars of the Alouettes organization have a relationship that spans decades after also winning Grey Cups together with Edmonton in 2003 and 2005, when Maciocia was an offensive co-ordinator and head coach and Maas was a quarterback.

What's next?

It's been a busy off-season for Maciocia, so busy he says he spent much of a post-Grey Cup vacation with his wife in Aruba working on contract extensions.

Maciocia was productive. He signed Lemon, Sankey, Fajardo, DL Mustafa Johnson and WR Tyson Philpot to contract extensions, among several other moves.

The Alouettes don't yet have a running back signed for next season, with this year's starter William Stanback a pending free agent.

"It was a short conversation with him. It's been quite hectic here the last few weeks," said Maciocia. "We're going to have to make some decisions here over the next little while."

Maciocia affirmed that Stanback wanted to stay in Montreal, but wouldn't say if he was willing to take a pay cut. Running backs Walter Fletcher and Jeshrun Antwi, a Canadian, are also pending free agents. Maciocia said at least one of the three won't be back.

Linebacker Tyrice Beverette is the outstanding player left to sign on defence. Maciocia said the Alouettes have had discussions with his agent and feel talks are progressing well, but wasn't sure there'd be an agreement in the coming days.

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