It’s not that they didn’t have free rein or that they wouldn’t have done their job fully with just one year of contract, but the general manager of the Montreal Alouettes Danny Maciocia and the head coach Jason Maas can now think longer term.
The team extended Maciocia’s contract by three years until the end of 2027 on Wednesday, while Maas will be linked to the club for two more years, until the conclusion of the 2026 season.
“It allows you to plan, for today and for tomorrow,” said Maciocia, who met the media at the Alouettes offices at the Olympic Stadium. It makes a world of difference. That’s the nature of the beast in sport: when you have a one-year contract, you work immediately. You make your decisions now. It’s the same for Jason: he can now think about today. But also to tomorrow and the future. This will guide our approach to contract signings, the draft, etc. “.
“I don’t think it changes my approach, certainly not the way I approach my work,” said Maas, who met the media by videoconference from his new residence in Edmonton. It gives you the confidence to know that the organization wants to continue with you. We must still keep the focus and do his job. It’s good to have the trust of the people around you, but my work will be done no differently whether I have one year, two years or three years left on my contract. »
Maas, however, would not have hesitated to embark on the next campaign without a contract extension.
“I don’t think anyone likes to manage with only one year left on their contract. But I have complete confidence in Danny and the organization, and I would have given everything I have to this organization. It shows the class of an organization when they approach you with one year left on your contract. I was very happy to have the opportunity to extend my stay here,” said Maas.
For Maciocia, these contract extensions prove to what extent the club’s senior management wants to offer football operations what the Alouettes have sorely lacked for several years: continuity.
“It represents stability, something we haven’t seen too much here in recent years. I think everyone knows how important it is for me to be a part of this organization. The extension takes me back to my years of volunteering, in 1996-1997. Mark (Weightman, the president and CEO) was here as an intern too. It shows to what extent we have the Alouettes logo tattooed on our hearts,” mentioned Maciocia.
“It also allows me to know that I can work in peace with people who I consider to be an extension of my family. I hope we can continue with all these beautiful people in place. I think I have one of the best football operations teams in the circuit,” he continued.
Arriving in January 2020, Maciocia did a colossal job in 2023, while the team was going nowhere last January. He had just appointed Maas to the position, but knew he would lose quarterback Trevor Harris, one of the three best in the CFL in 2022, as well as the club’s two best receivers, Eugene Lewis and Jake Wieneke, on the free agent market.
After hiring Gray Cup MVP Cody Fajardo, Maciocia found receiver Austin Mack, neglected by the NFL. He then, little by little, added the missing elements to his club – including Shawn Lemon and Darnell Sankey – in order to lead it to the eighth championship in its history.
During the draft, Maciocia and his football operations team were responsible for bringing Marc-Antoine Dequoy, Pier-Olivier Lestage, Tyson Philpot, Tyrell Richards and Lwal Uguak to Montreal, among others.
In three seasons under his leadership, the team compiled a 27-23 record.
Maas, the 27th head coach in team history, led the team to an 11-7 record in his first season. He notably allowed the team to sign eight consecutive victories, including those acquired against the Toronto Argonauts (16-2) in the Eastern final and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers (14-4) in the grand final.
It was the first time since 2012 that the team reached the mark of 11 wins in a season.
“We built on the foundations that Danny had laid in previous years,” the coach humbly explained. The Alouettes had just won a playoff game and fought until the very end of the Eastern final the year before. Danny and the players had done well to prove that they were a good team. All that was missing was stability. The players bought our plan and look what it turned out. We have a recipe for success. It was enough to keep the ingredients in place. »
The 48-year-old notably marked his group by his desire to play for the city and the province, bringing together his players under the French-speaking identity of the club. He made it a point of honor to immerse himself in Montreal and Quebec cultures, and wanted all the players on the team to do the same. Many pointed out at the end of the season that his objective of uniting the team to the same cause was achieved.
As for the rest of the coaching staff, Maas said he and Maciocia have made offers to the entire group. Announcements could follow shortly.