Richie Hall took it hard.
The Edmonton Eskimos head coach shouldered the blame for the dismissal of his boss and figures he was the one who should have taken the bullet instead.
“I’m surprised and disappointed, it should have been me,” said Hall, shortly after the team announced they had fired general manager and director of football operations Danny Maciocia. “I’m responsible for the football team. I understand he’s the general manager, but I’m responsible for what happens on the field. (Friday) night was a great win for us, but when it’s all said and done, accountability starts with me.”
Having started the season with an 0-4 record, everyone in the organization was put on notice by president and CEO Rick LeLacheur prior to Friday night’s contest against the B.C. Lions. Despite pulling out a 28-25 victory, Maciocia was still let go the next day.
The decision had been made at the board of directors meeting Wednesday. However, LeLacheur decided to hold off making the announcement until Saturday.
“When Rick came and told me this morning, it kind of caught me off guard,” Hall said.
“I just finished watching film and just basically preparing to get together with our coaches, then meet with our players when he came to inform me. It left me speechless, it’s not something that I anticipated today.”
Maciocia had been with the organization since 2002, working his way up from an assistant coach.
“He was here for eight years and won two Grey Cups,” said Hall. “When you look at that, and you look through the course of the CFL, that’s a pretty good resume.”
Hall was hired by Maciocia to take over as head coach prior to the start of last season.
The team posted a 9-9 record before losing to the Calgary Stampeders in the West semifinal.
This year the club got off to their worst start since 1965.
Hall took responsibility for the slow start.
“I hadn’t done a good enough job doing what my role is for our football team,” he said. “Prior to last night, we were 0-4. Everyone has their role in the organization.
“My role is the football team. That’s not being arrogant, that’s just the responsibility that comes upon the head coach, that’s what he’s responsible for.”