Deslauriers wants to become CEO “one day”
Éric Deslauriers still remembers the date very well. “December 3, 2018,” he says on the phone.
On that day, the former Gatineau receiver received news which had the effect of a devastating tackle. The Montreal Alouettes kicked him out after 12 seasons with the organization, including three as the draft coordinator.
All this because of the new salary ceiling imposed on each CFL team for their staff in football operations.
“Kavis Reed had fired me. I had to leave. It was hard. I had this team at heart … I had never had to prepare a resume before and find myself a real job, “he recalls.
A year later, Deslauriers got a promotion from the same Alouettes, who had repatriated him to their home in July as player personnel coordinator following Reed’s departure.
The Montreal team named him director of football operations on Wednesday. In principle, he will be the general manager’s right hand.
The catch? The Alouettes’ search for a future GM was put on the ice in the last hours. They will wait until they have new owners before meeting candidates again.
In the meantime, Deslauriers will share the duties of general manager with, in particular, head coach Khari Jones. A beautiful friendship was born between the two men.
“I love working with Khari. He is very passionate and very knowledgeable. I’m happy to continue with my team … I have the Alouettes at heart, he recalls.
“I’m glad to have this little pat on the back. It is a great vote of confidence to know that I have been able to overcome all these obstacles in the past year, that we have enjoyed my work. ”
The Alouettes surprised in 2019, finishing second in the East division. All this despite the uncertainty that hung over the organization accumulated at the start of head coach Mike Sherman on the eve of the season and then that of Reed.
“The team is going in the right direction,” said Deslauriers proudly, who took a liking to working on the second floor.
Five intense months await him. He and Jones will shortly establish the desired lineup for the next season.
“I hope to sign one or two of our current players before the end of the year. After that, it will be the hiring of free agents in February. It will also be necessary to prepare the repechage at the end of April. And there are also the many “Bowl games” in the United States in the coming weeks … There is no shortage of work. ”
Deslauriers does not complain. Even he says he has a dream.
“One day, I hope to be GM in the league,” says the 38-year-old.
“But there, I take it one day at a time. I am thinking of the month of January which will be busy, and not of what awaits me in five years. Everyone has long-term goals. I will continue to do my job, improve and help the Alouettes. ”
Who knows, maybe his name will be in the discussions when the team relaunches its search for a general manager later in 2020 or even in 2021 when new owners are finally in place.