VANCOUVER — The Toronto Argonauts were stopped in their bid to reach the Grey Cup last season, but their coach still has a chance to collect a trophy.
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. The winner will be presented the Annis Stukus Trophy today during a luncheon.
Simply being nominated is a humbling experience for Barker, who guided the Argos to the East Final last season.
“This is a difficult league to win in,” he said Thursday. “It takes a lot of people doing things the right way.
“I look at it as a validation we are on the right track, that we are doing things properly.”
Barker finds himself in good company.
Trestman was coach of the year last season. The Alouettes and Riders have met in the last two Grey Cups with Montreal being the first team since the 1996-1997 Argos to win consecutive championships.
This is the third consecutive year Trestman and Miller have been finalists for the award.
This will be Miller’s last chance to be named the league’s top coach. He has retired from coaching and is now Saskatchewan’s’s vice-president of football operations.
“It was really special the first time three years ago,” said Miller. “Last year, having been in the Grey Cup, that was special.
“Now this one is special in its own way but not any more special than the other two.”
The low-key Trestman said Montreal’s success comes from a team effort.