Kavis Reed fired by Eskimos after 4-14 season
Edmonton finished last in CFL West at 4-14
A second consecutive losing season has cost Edmonton Eskimos head coach Kavis Reed his job.
The Canadian Football League club on Monday relieved Reed of his duties after the Eskimos finished the season with a 4-14 record.
"It is my feeling the club is at a stage that is critical to our on-field expectations and this move was necessary," Eskimos general manager Ed Hervey told a news gathering hours after he informed Reed he was gone after three years as head coach. "I have confidence this decision will give our club its best opportunity to compete at a high level heading into the 2014 season."
Edmonton did prevail in Reed’s final game on the Eskimos’ sideline, defeating Saskatchewan 30-26 on Saturday, but finished last in the West Division.
"It's going to be a very thorough and methodical process and I'm going to choose the right coach," said Hervey, who signed Reed to a one-year contract extension in July but hasn't named his replacement. "Not the right fit, but the right coach. I'm going to get someone who is a little bit more like myself, a little more detailed and structured and not really looking to spend a lot of time with you guys, more time developing the football team."
Reed, a defensive back with Edmonton from 1995 to 1999, was named the 19th head coach in franchise history on Dec. 10, 2010.
He was a coach of the year finalist in his first campaign in 2011 after the Eskimos hosted their first playoff game since 2004 and advanced to the West Division final, losing to the eventual Grey Cup champion B.C. Lions.
In 2012, the Toronto Argonauts defeated Reed and company in a crossover East Division semifinal on their way to a Grey Cup title.
Reed has been criticized by some for bad in-game decisions and not maintaining consistency among his assistant coaches as none of the eight he hired in 2011 were on his staff this season.
"The record aside, there were other factors in my decision and moving forward I believe when I appoint the next head coach he will have all the qualifications that I want for this team," Hervey said. "I believe that this team in some ways unachieved at times. The record did not reflect the changes we made in the off-season."
The Eskimos' past two offensive co-ordinators weren't proven. Marcus Crandell, who was stripped of the play-calling duties last season, was a quarterback in the CFL but has limited coaching experience.
Doug Sams replaced Crandell this year but 22 years had past since he oversaw an offence in the league.
Edmonton also had three defensive co-ordinators in as many seasons in Rich Stubler, Mark Nelson and Greg Marshall but it seemed they were never on the same page as Reed.
Perhaps Reed's biggest challenge was overcoming the departure of longtime star quarterback Ricky Ray, who was traded in December 2011 by former general manager Eric Tillman, leaving Reed to choose between backups Steven Jyles and Kerry Joseph.
Tillman was mostly an absentee GM so much of the day-to-day business was handled by Reed, including the Eskimos' travel plans, which many believed hindered his development as a head coach.
On Sunday, Reed told reporters he was most proud of his ability to keep negative energy and comments out of the locker room.
"This community has been tremendous to me for 20 years and I've enjoyed every waking moment I've spent in this community." He said.
Edmonton fell 39-18 to open the 2013 regular season but rebounded with a win against Hamilton, only to lose its next eight games.
The Eskimos snapped the losing streak with two wins over lowly Winnipeg, which ended the season 3-15, before they lost six straight.
Edmonton scored the fewest points in the CFL this season (421) and allowed the second-most (519 to Winnipeg's 585).
With files from The Canadian Press