Tiger-Cats turf coach Bellefeuille

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats have fired head coach Marcel Bellefeuille, general manager Bob O'Billovich said Wednesday.
Marcel Bellefeuille had been the Ticats' head coach since September 2008. (Trevor Hagan/Canadian Press)

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats fired head coach Marcel Bellefeuille on Wednesday, less than two weeks after the CFL team came up short in the East Division final against Winnipeg.

Bellefeuille guided the 8-10 Ticats to a third-place finish in the East Division this season. Hamilton upset the Montreal Alouettes in the East semifinal before dropping a 19-3 decision to the Blue Bombers with a berth in the Grey Cup game on the line.

"We would like to thank coach Bellefeuille for his efforts during his time with our organization," general manager Bob O'Billovich said in a statement. "He represented the Tiger-Cats with pride and passion, and has left the organization in a much better place than when he started with us.

"However, we feel this move is necessary in order to reach our ultimate goal of winning a Grey Cup."

Bellefeuille was named head coach in September 2008. He originally joined the team as an offensive co-ordinator in December 2007.

He was nominated for the CFL coach of the year award after guiding the Ticats to a 9-9 record in 2009, his first full season as head coach. Hamilton finished second in the East that year but lost to the B.C. Lions in the East semifinal.

Bellefeuille signed a contract extension with the Tiger-Cats in April 2010. Hamilton again finished second in the East at 9-9 but fell to archrival Toronto in the division semifinal.

Before joining Hamilton, Bellefeuille spent two seasons with the Montreal Alouettes and five with the Saskatchewan Roughriders in offensive coaching capacities.

There was no immediate word on a replacement.