When the CFL season ended after the Grey Cup in Calgary, there were three teams looking for head coaches. The B.C. Lions, the Ottawa RedBlacks and the Edmonton Eskimos had openings with the names of Rick Campbell and Paul LaPolice being the top candidates. There was much talk about the return of Rick Campbell to Edmonton, but he was hired by Ed Hervey and the B.C. Lions. The next domino to fall was Paul LaPolice who was hired by the Ottawa RedBlacks.
By now, Eskimos fans were starting to get a little antsy as the top two candidates were now off the market. A rumour surfaced that the Eskimos were interested in Scott Milanovich but it did not generate much excitement around the city. It turned out there was a little more to the story that was initially reported. Then, Thursday morning TSN’s Farhan Lalji reported that the Eskimos were close to a deal for the former NFL and CFL quarterback and coach. It took a few hours longer, but the signing was finally confirmed by TSN.
Milanovich first broke into the CFL coaching ranks with the Calgary Stampeder’s back in 2003 as their quarterback coach. He only spent one season with the Stampeder’s before returning to the Rhein Fire in NFL Europe. He returned again in 2007 with the Montreal Alouette’s as their quarterback coach and remained with the team until the Toronto Argonauts hired him as their head coach to start the 2012 season. Milanovichs record of 43-47 is less than .500, but he is considered one of the leagues ‘brightest’ offensive minds.
Milanovich’s hiring is unique because he is still under contract to the Jacksonville Jaguars as their quarterback coach. Although the way things are looking currently, the entire staff could be fired at the end of the season as the Jaguars will miss the playoffs. Milanovich will make his way to Edmonton as soon as the NFL season is over and is already looking at hiring his assistants. With the hiring of the head coach out of the way, the focus now turns to hiring assistants. Of course none of that will occur until he comes to Edmonton at the end of the NFL season.
Ironically, there is one coach under contract to the Eskimos next year and that is Phillip Lolley, who was the Defensive Coordinator. There will be lots of work for Milanovich to do once he arrives as he has been away from the CFL since 2016 but he says he is excited to return and get back to being a head coach and being involved in calling the offence. I can hardly wait for 2020 training camp to open!!