What was your first year like moving to another country? For Marc Trestman coach of the Montreal Alouettes, it was his first opportunity to travel across Canada and experience living in Old Montreal. It also included winning the CFL Outstanding coach of the year and making it to the Grey Cup finals.
For many of us, moving to another country is employment driven. The same can be said for Trestman, who has held NFL coaching positions in Minnesota, Tampa Bay, Cleveland, San Francisco, Detroit, Arizona, Oakland and Miami and most recently N.C. State University.
The seed of opportunity to work for the Alouettes was planted 2 years ago when Trestman consulted for Jim Popp, then coach and G.M.. It must have been a positive impression as he was 1 of 11 coaches interviewed the following year when Popp stepped down from coaching to focus on the G.M. role. The day after the interview, they made him an offer. “It was a huge leap of faith, as I didn’t know much about Canada or the League, but I felt good about the ownership and President Larry Smith. Trestman stated.”
Trestman found a place in Old Montreal close to St. Paul and St. Pierre. “The architecture was amazing and the restaurants were phenomenal. People were very respectful and spoke English when they realized I couldn’t speak French. While there were 4-5 restaurants I frequented, I got to know a Tokyo sushi chef and he got to know me.’ He also enjoyed traveling across the Country and appreciated that each city had its own cultural
Not knowing the CFL beforehand, Trestman was impressed by the knowledge and participation of the Montreal fans. He also commented about the T.V. production and announcers, stating that they were right up there with the U.S. College and Pro productions teams.
The off-season will allow Trestman to get ready for his 2nd season in Montreal. That includes preparation with his coaching staff, getting ready for training camp and hopefully another trip to the Grey Cup. He’s also interested in speaking engagements to share some of his success philosophies and his many experiences on and off the field.