January 18, 2022

Huard could become CFL head coach

After leading Maine Maritime Academy to the most successful season in its history, head football coach John Huard may be ready for bigger things. Such as coaching in the pros.

According to speculation in the Ottawa, Ontario, media, Huard is a candidate to become the next head coach of the Ottawa Rough Riders of the Canadian Football League.

Huard confirmed Tuesday he met with Rough Riders owner Bernie Glieberman in Detroit last Sunday to discuss the position.

“I’ve talked with the owner, but that’s about all I can say,” said Huard, who has spent the past seven seasons coaching the NCAA Division III MMA football program in Castine.

Huard said he had not resigned his position at MMA.

“It’s premature to say anything other than I’m exploring the situation,” said Huard, the former University of Maine Little All-American linebacker from Waterville.

Ottawa Rough Riders spokesman Sal DeMeo would confirm only that a search for a new coach is on. “Our ownership is actively pursuing filling the position, that’s all I can say,” said DeMeo.

Despite the apparent huge jump from Division III college ball to the CFL, Huard has ties to the Canadian league dating back to his playing days with the Montreal Alouettes and Toronto Argonauts in the 1970s. He was also a part-time assistant coach with the Calgary Stampeders in 1982.

In addition to his CFL experience, Huard coached a highly successful Acadia University program as well, leading the institution in Wolfeville, Nova Scotia, to Canada’s national title in 1979.

The Ottawa Rough Riders are coming off a 4-14 season, after which the entire coaching staff and several front office personnel were fired.

The other top candidate for the Ottawa coaching job is reported to be former Green Bay Packers coach and NFL great Forrest Gregg.

At MMA, Huard has led the Mariners to a 32-30 record in seven seasons. But the Mariners steadily improved, posting winning records the last four years culminating in their recently concluded 9-1 1993 campaign that included winning the New England Football Conference and ECAC Northeast titles.

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