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The Montreal Alouettes announced on Monday that Mario Cecchini has been appointed the organization’s President, while Danny Maciocia was named the club’s General Manager.
“Mario, Danny and Khari are the trio we need to truly become a great organization both on and off the field,” said Gary Stern, co-owner of the Montreal Alouettes. “They have extensive experience and have had success in their respective fields. Mario is known for his leadership, he knows the Quebec market and has left his mark on the business community while Danny has won everywhere he has coached or managed a football team. As for Khari, he has proven last year that he is the right man to lead our team and that the players will go the extra mile for him.”
Cecchini is no stranger to the sports landscape. At the turn of the century he was managing amongst other stations the FAN590 in Toronto, then launched CKAC Sports when he was the EVP of Corus Québec, and presided over the group that owns 91,9 Sports as recently as 2018.
Cecchini made two noteworthy stops at Corus, first as EVP of Corus Québec between 2006 and 2011, and from 2013 to 2016 as President of all Quebec Specialty Channels and President of Radio. During that time, he launched 98,5FM, which rapidly became and still remains Canada’s radio station with the highest ratings, on top of being the Alouettes official broadcaster.
“I am passionate about football and the Alouettes, and I am thrilled to take on this exciting challenge,” said Cecchini. “My first message goes to the fans – rest assured that all efforts will be dedicated to provide an excitement on the field, and to the business community we will come very shortly to you to demonstrate the quality opportunity the Alouettes bring to the market. The three of us have the same objective, and I know it goes the same for Coach Jones, which is to make this organization a leading force in the CFL once again. Each of us knows what it takes to continue to build on the foundations that were layed in 2019, and we will go above and beyond to deliver.”
For his part, Maciocia returns to the Alouettes, where he began his professional coaching career in 1996 as a Quality Control Coach. He rapidly climbed the ladder and was the team’s Offensive Coordinator by 2001, before taking on the same responsibilities with the Edmonton Eskimos from 2001 to 2004, helping the team engrave its name on the Grey Cup in 2003.
The Eskimos then appointed him as the Head Coach, in 2005. On top of becoming the first Quebec-born head coach in CFL history, he hoisted the Grey Cup in his first season in that role, following a dramatic overtime win against the Alouettes. He was then handed the General Manager duties in 2007. In November of 2010, he was named Head Coach of the Université de Montréal Carabins and, in November 2014, at Percival Molson Memorial Stadium, home of the Alouettes, Maciocia led the Carabins to their first Vanier Cup championship, making him the first ever Head Coach to win both the Grey Cup and Vanier Cup.
“Today, I am finally realizing a dream that I have caressed for quite some time by being named the General Manager of my hometown’s pro team,” said Maciocia. “I am excited to return with the Alouettes and help this team regain its past glory, and I am now in an excellent position to do so.”
“I want to thank the Carabins, who allowed me to be even more ready for this challenge and I am confident that they will remain amongst the elite football teams in the country. I am also extremely happy to be in a position to help and develop amateur football at home, in Quebec,” added the one who has over 25 years of coaching experience.
In nine seasons on the other side of Mount-Royal, Maciocia maintained a 57-16 record while leading the team to three Dunsmore Cup championships. On those three occasions, the Carabins went on the Vanier Cup championship game. At Université de Montréal, Maciocia, who was decorated by the Quebec National Assembly in 2005, guided many players who eventually made their way to the CFL, including Antoine Pruneau, Byron Archambault, current Alouettes defensive end Jean-Samuel Blanc, as well as David Foucault, who also played in the NFL. He was elected the 2016 coach of the year in the RSEQ.