MONTREAL — The Montreal Alouettes made a significant move on Wednesday, relieving head coach Khari Jones of his duties. Alouettes’ general manager Danny Maciocia will step in as the team’s head coach until the end of the season.
Longtime CFL defensive coordinator Noel Thorpe has been hired to replace defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach Barron Miles, who was also relieved of his duties.
The Alouettes have started the season 1-3 and are in a bye week on the heels of a 41-20 loss to the Saskatchewan Roughriders.
“This kind of decision is always difficult to make, but we felt that we needed to make it early in the season while there is still time,” Maciocia said in a team-issued statement.
“We want to thank Khari Jones and Barron Miles for their work, and wish them the best in the future”.
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Maciocia returned to the Alouettes in January 2020, when he was appointed general manager.
Jones went 18-18 as the Als’ head coach, a role that he took on at the start of the 2019 season. He led the team to its first playoff appearance in four years and got the team to the postseason again in 2021. Jones was 0-2 in the playoffs.
This marks the first in-season coaching change since 2017, when the Alouettes and Hamilton Tiger-Cats let go of Jacques Chapdelaine and Kent Austin, respectively.
Maciocia returns to a head coaching role for the first time since he transitioned from Edmonton’s sideline to the front office after the 2008 season. Maciocia was the head coach in the Alberta capital from 2005-2008 and worked as GM and director of football operations in Edmonton from 2008-2010. Prior to that, he served as the team’s offensive coordinator from 2002-2004. He was a member of the 2003 and 2005 Gray Cup-winning Edmonton teams.
Maciocia compiled a 33-38-1 record as Edmonton’s head coach and went 4-1 in the playoffs, making two appearances out of four years.
Thorpe returns with the Alouettes for a third time. He began his CFL coaching career with Montreal in 2002 by winning a Gray Cup, after six years in college with UBC and Simon Fraser University. In 1997 he raised the Vanier Cup with the UBC Thunderbirds.
In Montreal, Thorpe led the special teams and the defensive backs from 2002-2007. From 2013-2017, he was the team’s defensive coordinator and assistant head coach. Thorpe also served as Defensive backs Coach, Special Teams Coordinator and Assistant Head Coach with Edmonton from 2008 to 2010. He also worked for two years as a Defensive Coordinator with the Ottawa REDBLACKS. He joined Maciocia, with whom he worked in Edmonton in 2010, with the Université de Montréal Carabins in 2011 and 2012, when he was the Special Teams Coordinator. In 2022 he won the championship in the USFL with the Birmingham Stallions.