Jim Barker named CFL coach of the year

Turning the Toronto Argonauts around has resulted in Jim Barker being named the CFL’s coach of the year for 2010.

Toronto coach Jim Barker joins Marc Trestman of the Montreal Alouettes and Ken Miller of the Saskatchewan Roughriders as a finalist for the CFL's coach of the year award.

Toronto coach Jim Barker joins Marc Trestman of the Montreal Alouettes and Ken Miller of the Saskatchewan Roughriders as a finalist for the CFL's coach of the year award.

VANCOUVER — Turning the Toronto Argonauts around has resulted in Jim Barker being named the CFL’s coach of the year for 2010.

Barker received the Annis Stukus Trophy during a luncheon Friday.

Barker beat out Montreal Alouette coach Marc Trestman and Ken Miller of the Saskatchewan Roughriders for the award.

This is the third consecutive year Trestman and Miller have been finalists for the award.

Barker, in his first season as Toronto coach, helped transform an Argonaut team that had a combined seven wins the previous two years.

Under Barker, Toronto managed a 9-9 record to finish third in the East Division.

The Argonauts upset Hamilton 16-13 in the East semifinal before losing 48-17 to Montreal.

Barker said the award is a recognition of the entire Argonaut organization.

“There’s great coaches in the league now,” he said. “I look at this thing as an organizational award, not an individual award.”

Miller praised what Barker has accomplished.

“That was one of the biggest turn arounds we have had recently,” said Miller. “To take a team that was wallowing in misery, and for him to go in and put a steadying hand on, that really made them more than competitive.

“They continued to improve and grow and play better as the season went on.”

Trestman said Barker brought focus to the Argonauts.

“It was a team that played hard every week and played to its strengths,” he said. “That’s well deserved.”

Barker has spent more than 30 years coaching football, including U.S. college and the XFL.

He had head coaching jobs in the CFL with Calgary in 2003 and Toronto in 1999. He was an assistant coach with the Argos when they won the 1997 Grey Cup and Montreal’s offensive co-ordinator when the Al’s won the championships in 2002.

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