Scott Milanovich resigns as Toronto Argonauts coach to join NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars

The Toronto Argonauts’ off-season job search doubled Friday with the resignation of head coach Scott Milanovich.

Milanovich stepped down to become the quarterbacks coach of the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars. Milanovich’s decision comes just three days after Jim Barker was fired after six seasons as the Argos‘ general manager.

“We support Scott’s decision to pursue his goals in the NFL and wish him all the best in his new role,” said Michael Copeland, president and CEO for the Argos in a statement. “We’ve made significant progress in our search for the Argos’ next general manager. We hope to conclude the search process shortly.”

Barker hired Milanovich in December 2011, giving Milanovich his first CFL head-coaching job. He led the Argos to a Grey Cup victory in 2012 but the club finished last in the East Division in 2016 with a 5-13 record and missed the playoffs.

Scott Milanovich brings a variety of experience to our coaching staff, and we are eager for him to get started,” Tom Coughlin, the Jaguars executive vice-president of football operations, said in a statement. “Working closely with offensive co-ordinator Nathaniel Hackett, we expect the quarterback position to deliver positive results under Scott’s direction and guidance.”

Plenty of experience

Milanovich was a quarterback with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1996-1999) and spent 10 seasons coaching in the CFL. He served as an assistant with the Montreal Alouettes (2007-2011) before joining the Argos.

Milanovich posted a 43-47 record with Toronto and was the CFL’s coach of the year in 2012.

“We are pleased to welcome Scott and his family to the Jaguars organization,’ Jacksonville head coach Doug Marrone said. “He will be a great asset to our coaching staff, as his professional playing and coaching experience will be vital in the improvement of our quarterbacks.”

Milanovich also spent time in NFL Europe with the Rhein Fire as quarterbacks coach in 2004 and offensive co-ordinator/quarterbacks coach in 2005. The former Maryland star served as quarterbacks coach/offensive co-ordinator with the Cologne Centurions in ’06.

“I would like to thank the Argonauts‘ ownership, president & CEO Michael Copeland, the staff, all the players and coaches, and most importantly, the wonderful city of Toronto and the loyal fans for the opportunity to serve as your head coach for the past five seasons,” Milanovich said. “This has been an amazing experience for my family and me, and we’re so appreciative of all the wonderful friends we’ve made and memories we’ve created in Toronto.”

A pair of roles to fill

Milanovich’s departure leaves a definite hole in the Argos‘ football operations. When Barker was fired, the club made it clear it was expecting Milanovich to return although his future with the club was going to ultimately be decided by Barker’s replacement.

“The first order of business for our next general manager will be to hire the team’s next head coach,” said Copeland’s statement on behalf of the Argos. “We are confident that we will be well prepared for a successful 2017 season. In the interim, all player personnel matters will continue to be executed as planned under the leadership of assistant general manager Spencer Zimmerman. On behalf of the entire Argonauts organization, and our fans, I would like to thank Scott for his many contributions and leadership over the past five years.”

Marrone took over as Jacksonville’s full-time head coach Jan. 9 and Milanovich becomes the 10th individual named to Marrone’s staff.

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