In a surprise move, the Chicago Bears have hired Marc Trestman — most recently coach of the CFL’s Montreal Alouettes, and a man who has been out of the NFL for eight years — to replace Lovie Smith as head coach, according to a published report.
The Chicago Tribune, quoting "an NFL source," reported Tuesday that Trestman, 57, would become the Bears’ 14th head coach.
Chicago fired Smith on Dec. 31 after failing to make the playoffs despite the team’s 10-6 record this season.
Trestman won the past two Grey Cups — the CFL’s championship trophy — while compiling a 64-34 record in five seasons north of the border.
Trestman is known as a quarterbacks guru, brought to Chicago to work with the enigmatic Jay Cutler.
Trestman was quarterbacks coach at the University of Miami when the Hurricanes and quarterback Vinny Testaverde won the national championship in 1983.
In the NFL, he was a position coach with Minnesota, Tampa Bay, Cleveland, San Francisco, Detroit, Arizona, Oakland and Miami. He was offensive coordinator for the Browns in 1989, as Cleveland — with Bernie Kosar at QB — went to the AFC Championship Game.
Besides Kosar, Trestman has mentored quarterbacks Steve Young, Scott Mitchell, Jake Plummer and Rich Gannon in his various jobs.
“The skill set that Marc has, being an offensive mind, and then his great relationships that he’s had with quarterbacks historically in the NFL and the work he’s done with them makes him a good fit for the job,” Alouettes general manager Jim Popp told The Tribune.