It's five and out for Hawkins in the Canadian Football League

Former Boise State coach’s tenure in the CFL a short one.

STATESMAN STAFFAugust 2, 2013 

Montreal QB Anthony Calvillo, left, is the CFL’s all-time leader in touchdown passes and completions. He sounded like he was ready for change after a 2-3 start. “We’ve had a certain standard here for a number of years and it’s been very tough to swallow the direction our team was going in,” Calvillo said.

Dan Hawkins got time to prove his offensive changes could work for the Montreal Alouettes.

He got five games.

The former Boise State football coach and Boise resident was fired by Montreal just two wins and three losses into his first season in the Canadian Football League.

The Alouettes rank last in the CFL in yards per game (294.6), an unacceptable result for the proud franchise.

Montreal has eight Grey Cup appearances since 2000 and won back-to-back titles in 2009 and 2010 with CFL legend Anthony Calvillo at quarterback and coach Marc Trestman as head coach.

Trestman left in January to coach the Chicago Bears.

Hawkins, 52, was hired in February.

“We wanted the coaches to learn the language, instead of having 12 people having to learn something new,” General Manager Jim Popp told the Canadian Press. “... I don’t think Dan lost the locker room, but I think it was teetering. We’re trying to get things back on the path of how we practice, how we do things in our locker room.”

Popp said the franchise wants to return to the “Alouette Way.”

Calvillo, the league’s all-time leading passer, has been the quarterback since 1999. A three-time winner of the CFL’s Most Outstanding Player Award, Calvillo turns 41 later this month.

“There’s been some frustration across the board,” Calvillo told the Canadian Press. Popp, who will take over as coach, told the Montreal Gazette that he began to worry about the offensive changes in training camp.

“We went through mini-camp and we started seeing more and more new stuff put in and then we were seeing it more and more as the main emphasis (of the offense) and I was like, ‘What are we doing here? Why are we doing this?’ ” Popp said “Some of it, I felt strongly, wouldn’t work. ... But I had to wait for the proof. I could have been wrong.”

The Alouettes won their first game of the season, lost their next three and then defeated Edmonton 32-27 on July 25. Montreal does not play again until Aug. 8.

“Jim is the person most responsible for the success we have had over all these years,” owner Bob Wetenhall said in a statement released by the team. “I feel confident that he is the best person to coach our team at this time. … He has the respect of the players as well as mine.”

Hawkins went 53-11 in five seasons as Boise State’s head coach from 2001 to 2005. He left for Colorado after the 2005 season, but struggled with the Buffaloes. He went 19-39 in four-plus seasons and was fired in the middle of the 2010 season. Hawkins had been working in broadcasting before being hired by Montreal.

The Statesman attempted to contact Hawkins, but had not heard back from him by press time.

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