Argonauts head coach Scott Milanovich was named the 2012 CFL coach of the year on Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013. (Michael Peake/QMI Agency/Files)
REGINA - Scott Milanovich won the CFL coach of the year award for 2012 on Thursday, and one of the reasons why was because he overcame a situation that is so very CFL.
Part of the Toronto Argonauts' practice facility burned down on Christmas Eve 2011, and an alternative still hasn't been found to this day. As a result, Milanovich and his coaching staff had to conduct their daily meetings with players wherever they could find space on the University of Toronto's Erindale campus.
"We were in class rooms. We were in the school pub. We were in the student union," Milanovich said moments after winning the award. "We didn't think about it a whole lot during the season because our coaches never made an excuse for it and for our players it was what it was."
Milanovich mentioned it once, before the season, to warn the players about what was ahead. He said the situation was never uttered again. Six months later, the Argos won the Grey Cup on their home turf at Rogers Centre.
Milanovich received 34 of 45 first-place votes in capturing the Annis Stukus Trophy and becoming the first rookie boss to win it since Calgary's John Hufnagel in 2008. Hufnagel and B.C.'s Mike Benevides were the other two nominees this year.