There are always plenty of coaching moves during the CFL's offseason, but it's rare to see the same coach moving twice in two months. Jonathan Himebauch has proven the exception to that rule, though. A month after leaving the Montreal Alouettes to take over as offensive coordinator for the Toronto Argonauts, Himebauch is leaving that position to head to the NCAA, presumably with Wake Forest. In doing so, he becomes one of the shortest-lasting coordinators in CFL history. Still, that's not necessarily as negative as it might seem.
Leaving this quickly doesn't have to be a slam on Himebauch. If it is in fact the offensive coordinator job at Wake Forest he's leaving for, that's arguably a promotion (much like Montreal defensive coordinator Tim Tibesar's departure for Purdue). The offensive coordinator's job at an ACC school probably pays more than the equivalent job in the CFL, and it comes with substantially higher promotional possibilities; OC jobs at smaller schools can lead to OC jobs at larger schools or even head coaching jobs, all of which pay substantially more, while CFL coordinators can generally only make the leap up to CFL head coach (and there are only eight of those positions out there at any given time right now). Thus, it's a reasonably smart move on his part.
It's arguable that Himebauch isn't really leaving the Argonauts up the creek, either. As Toronto head coach Scott Milanovich told The National Post's Matthew Scianitti, he has been well aware Himebauch's been looking to get back to the NCAA for years, he wants to see his assistants get the best jobs they can, and there are plenty of contingency plans they have in place:
"Does [Himebauch's departure] put us back a week? Yes, sure it puts us back a week. But it is early January and we have a bunch of good coaches on this staff and we're not going to have a problem finding another guy that is going to be able to come in and do the job."
The timing does make things difficult for Toronto, as much like Montreal in the wake of Tibesar's depature, they now have to find a new coordinator from a limited supply. The new man will also have less time to work with the coaches and personnel executives to plan strategies before free-agent camps and the draft. Still, Himebauch's short tenure in Toronto also means there will be less of an adjustment, as players never really had time to get used to his way of doing things. This move does look like a step up for him, so it's easy to see why he did it, and it's also easy to see why Milanovich was fine with letting him go; happy assistants are the most effective assistants. The Argonauts will have to find a new, capable offensive coordinator who can work with the offensive-minded Milanovich, though, and that may not be plain sailing.
- Sports & Recreation
- Toronto Argonauts
- Montreal Alouettes
- offensive coordinator
- Scott Milanovich