From the United States to Canada and back again, the Chicago Bears left no stone unturned in their search for a new head coach. Late Tuesday night, they found one.
UPDATE: Wednesday, Jan. 16, 9:30 a.m. ET by Donald Wood
The Chicago Bears have officially hired former Canadian Football League head coach Marc Trestman as the team’s replacement for the fired Lovie Smith, according to the team’s official Twitter account:
LM: It's official: Marc Trestman has been named the 14th head coach in Chicago #Bears history.— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) January 16, 2013
---End of update---
According to NFL.com's Ian Rapoport, the Bears plan to make former CFL and Montreal Alouettes head coach Marc Trestman their 14th head coach in franchise history, replacing the recently fired Lovie Smith:
Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator Bruce Arians and Seattle Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell were the other finalists for the position.
The Bears ranked 28th in total offense, which partially explains their collapse after a 7-1 start. Chicago dropped five of its last eight and missed out on the playoffs for a second straight season.
Don't hang your head on his CFL resume; Trestman has NFL, college and other experience that led the Bears to believe he was the right man for the job. He's coached QBs with high pedigrees like Bernie Kosar (while Miami QB coach in 1983), Steve Young and Rich Gannon (while 49ers and Raiders offensive coordinator)—clearly one of the draws for a guy like Cutler.
On his official website, Trestman's credentials as a QB consultant include names like Brandon Weeden, Tim Tebow and also Cutler, who Trestman worked with out of Vanderbilt prior to the 2006 NFL draft.
Since 2007, Trestman has been the head coach of the Alouettes, leading them to a 64-34 overall record and two Grey Cups, the equivalent of a championship in the CFL. Under his tutelage, Montreal QB Anthony Calvillo won back-to-back CFL MVP awards in 2008 and 2009.
Trestman hasn't coached in the NFL for eight seasons.
The former Minnesota Golden Gophers QB interviewed for the Indianapolis Colts job in 2012 and again for the Cleveland Browns job in 2013, but it's the Bears that will give him a chance to get back into the NFL as a head coach.
Considered an offensive guru in many circles, Trestman will have plenty of weapons to work with in Chicago (mainly Cutler, RB Matt Forte and WR Brandon Marshall) as he tries to repair both the offense and the psyche of the Bears, who suffered a disheartening collapse down the stretch of the 2012 season.
Ethan Grant is a featured columnist for B/R's Breaking News Team.