Crighton winner Quinlan spurns CFL for coaching job at McMaster

MONTREAL — Hec Crighton Trophy winner Kyle Quinlan has opted for a coaching job at McMaster University rather than take a shot at playing quarterback in the CFL. Montreal Alouettes general manager Jim Popp said Thursday that Quinlan, who signed a three-year contract in December, will not attend training camp.

MONTREAL — Hec Crighton Trophy winner Kyle Quinlan has opted for a coaching job at McMaster University rather than take a shot at playing quarterback in the CFL.

Montreal Alouettes general manager Jim Popp said Thursday that Quinlan, who signed a three-year contract in December, will not attend training camp.

Agent Darren Gill said the quarterback has taken an unspecified coaching job at McMaster University.

That was news to Popp.

“He just informed us he wasn’t going to play,” Popp said. “He gave us some reasons outside of football.

“We said the door was open if he ever changed his mind.”

Asked what reasons were given, the GM said “only he can answer that.”

Quinlan, 24, was not immediately available for comment.

The six-foot-three quarterback threw 19 touchdown passes to lead McMaster to an 8-0 record last season before losing to Laval in the Vanier Cup.

The Woodslee, Ont., native earned the Crighton Trophy as Canadian university football’s top player and was named CIS male athlete of the year.

Popp said Quinlan had made his travel plans to Montreal and seemed eager to attend camp only two weeks ago, but “all of a sudden, he changed his mind.”

Canadian quarterbacks are rare in the CFL, and those who are drafted are often switched to other positions.

But the Alouettes wanted to give Quinlan a chance to make the team as a quarterback. Only last week, Popp lauded the prospect’s deep passing ability during a pre-camp conference call.

Montreal’s starter is 40-year-old Anthony Calvillo and the club signed veteran Quinton Porter to be the backup. They also have third-stringer Josh Neiswander as last year’s backup Adrian McPherson is no longer with the club.

Popp said he will have to sign another quarterback before camp, which opens Sunday at Bishop’s University in Sherbrooke, Que.

Quinlan and Acadia quarterback Kyle Graves attended Montreal’s camp last year but both were cut.

The Alouettes also announced David Messier, former media relations chief for the InterBox boxing promotion company, has been hired as director of communications and branding.

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