Reed nominated for coach of the year

GERRY MODDEJONGE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:26 PM ET

EDMONTON - He takes the blame when things go wrong and shares the credit when all is right.

It’s just one character trait of Edmonton Eskimos head coach Kavis Reed that has helped him earn one of three nominations for the Annis Stukus award.

Along with B.C. Lions’ Wally Buono and Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ Paul LaPolice, Reed has been nominated as CFL coach of the year.

“It means that this organization has done a very good job of restoring some of the lustre on what has been kind of a tarnished period for (us),” Reed said while introducing his coaching staff to the media in the Eskimos locker-room on Thursday. “I do not see just the nomination as an individual thing because, honestly guys, it is truly a collective.

“I hope that anyone involved in this football team sees it as an accolade for us as a whole group.”

In his first year as a CFL head coach, Reed directed the Eskimos to a second-place finish in the West Division with an 11-7 record, hosting their first playoff game in seven years and reaching the division final with a 33-19 win over the rival Calgary Stampeders.

It was a marked improvement over a 2010 season where the club finished last in the division at 7-11 before bringing Reed on board for a surprisingly quick turnaround.

Surprising to everyone but the head coach, of course.

“Not a surprise. Surprise means you didn’t prepare for that and it just falls in your lap,” said Reed, who set the bar high heading into his sophomore season at the helm. “Expectations are expectations, but for us it’s the process.

“I had a high-school physics teacher who said, ‘Sometimes the answer is not the important part, it’s the process that you go through.’

“We know that 11 wins was a part of the process.”

gerry.moddejonge@sunmedia.ca

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