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Alouettes hire Tom Higgins as new head coach

Montreal, QC ( - The Montreal Alouettes named Tom Higgins as their new head coach on Monday.

General manager Jim Popp had assumed coaching duties of the team last August when the club parted ways with first-year head coach Dan Hawkins after just five games.

Higgins is entering his 23rd season as a CFL coach with additional years as an administrator. He returns to the sidelines after previous head coaching stints with the Edmonton Eskimos (2001-04) and Calgary Stampeders (2005-07).

The 59-year-old Higgins won a Grey Cup with the Eskimos in 2003, while also being awarded the Annis Stukus Trophy in 2003 and 2005.

"Tom is highly respected throughout the CFL and across Canada," said Mark Weightman, President and CEO of the Alouettes. "He is known as a great teacher, and as someone who holds himself to the same high standards he does his players. His body of work as a player, Head Coach, GM and senior league official reflects his contribution to the CFL. Tom has worked with and tutored many of the CFL's finest quarterbacks - Doug Flutie, Henry Burris and Ricky Ray to mention a few. His expertise will be invaluable in the development of Troy Smith and Tanner Marsh."

After playing professionally with the Roughriders and Stampeders in the CFL and Buffalo Bills in the NFL, Higgins began his CFL coaching career in 1985 as an assistant with the Stampeders. In 1994, Higgins moved to the Eskimos as assistant general manager before assuming the title of general manager and COO in 1997.

Following his time as head coach of the Eskimos and Stampeders, Higgins joined the CFL head office as director of officiating in 2008. He stepped down from the post after the 2013 season.

02/24 16:57:14 ET

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