Ticats fire Taaffe, Bellefeuille takes over
The Hamilton Tiger-Cats fired head coach Charlie Taaffe on Monday after less than two seasons at the helm.
Offensive co-ordinator Marcel Bellefeuille will take over on an interim basis. General manager Bob O'Billovich said the position would be re-assessed at season's end.
Hamilton is just 2-8 this season, with both wins coming against nearby rival Toronto. The Tiger-Cats are tied with Winnipeg at the bottom of the CFL East standings.
The Ticats were competitive in earlier losses but showed major signs of regression in their third consecutive loss on Saturday. B.C. hammered Hamilton 35-12, with Ticat defenders missing several tackles and the offensive line allowing seven sacks.
O'Billovich said the poor performance played a big part in the decision.
"Being the eternal optimist that I am, we're still in the thick of the battle here and that's why I'm making this decision," he said.
Taaffe went 5-23 in his return to Canada after a stint at the University of Maryland. Hamilton did not win two consecutive games during his tenure.
Taaffe, 58, was the CFL coach of the year with the Montreal Alouettes two consecutive years beginning in 1999. Montreal advanced to the Grey Cup in 2000.
"He understands," said O'Billovich. "What he's done here hasn't been for a lack of effort."
"It was just a very professional parting," he added.
Hamilton has enjoyed just one winning season in the past six years, 2004.
Prior to joining the Ticats before this season, Bellefeuille had been an offensive co-ordinator with Montreal and Saskatchewan and a head coach with the University of Ottawa, where he won a Vanier Cup in 2000.
Bellefeuille said he wants the team to play more aggressively while still being disciplined. Former CFL great Danny McManus, who joined the coaching staff as a consultant in July, will have a greater role in helping shape the offence, he said.
O'Billovich said the team has been paying attention to recent NFL cuts in order to bring in reinforcements for the team.