HAMILTON — The Hamilton Tiger-Cats announced a major restructuring plan Tuesday, with president of football operations Orlondo Steinauer relinquishing his head coaching duties and Ed Hervey being promoted to general manager.
Steinauer had been the Ticats head coach since 2019, with the team adding front-office duties to his role in December 2021. He will retain his role leading the football operations department.
Steinauer called the move a "collective decision."
"You don't make a move like this if you're not really sure the direction you want to go," Steinauer told reporters Tuesday. "Ultimately, it's a different challenge."
"The bottom line is that I am extremely in favour of this decision," he added. "I don't desire to be average at anything. I want to be the best at what I do."
The Tiger-Cats say a new coach will be named later in the week.
The Tiger-Cats were Grey Cup finalists in 2019 and 2021, losing to Winnipeg both times. Steinauer was named the CFL's coach of the year in 2019.
Hamilton lost to Montreal in the East semifinal in each of the last two seasons.
Hervey was hired as an assistant general manager in Hamilton in December 2021. He spent four seasons as Edmonton's GM (2013-16) and two seasons in the same role with B.C. (2018-19).
Edmonton won the Grey Cup in 2015 under Hervey's watch.
"It became very apparent to me why he's been entrusted to run two different organizations," Steinauer said of working with Hervey. "He's made big decisions, he's run drafts, he's run day-to-day operations, and he just has that experience."
"I feel like we have three GMs in house," he added, referring to assistant GMs Drew Allemang and Spencer Zimmerman.
Steinauer, Hervey and the football operations staff face a busy off-season in Hamilton. The future of veteran quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell is up in the air after the former Calgary Stampeders star was limited by injuries in his first season of a three-year, $1.62-million deal with the Ticats.
Mitchell will reportedly be due a significant six-figure roster bonus sometime in January. Hamilton could opt against paying that and make Mitchell a free agent.
Players heading into free agency include quarterbacks Matt Shiltz and Kai Locksley, veteran linebacker Simoni Lawrence and receiver Tim White.
"There's some other decisions that have to come down the line, then we have to focus on what the core of our roster starts to look like," Hervey said. "When our coaching staff and everyone is in place, you have the opportunity to decide what the roster will look like.
"Whether it's free agents that we want, who we want to keep within, how we draft, we're just going to go through a line-by-line of that. And that's going to give us an opportunity to have a chance to build the kind of roster that we want."
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 5, 2023.
The Canadian Press