Originally written on Midwest Sports Fans  |  Last updated 1/21/13

Yesterday, the Chicago Bears filled their head coaching vacancy by hiring Marc Trestman, head coach of the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League. Trestman spent five years in Montreal, winning two Grey Cups, advancing to another, and never posting a losing record. Before he went to Canada, Trestman spent 17 seasons as an assistant with 8 different NFL teams. The Bears’ hiring of Trestman came as a surprise to those who have grown accustomed to NFL teams hiring a coach whose most recent job was with another NFL franchise or taking a chance on a successful American college coach. We aren’t used to teams hiring coaches from Canada. But such a move isn’t unprecedented. New Bears coach Marc Trestman, formerly of the Montreal Alouettes (Nathan Denette/Canadian Press) Bud Grant Bud Grant was the most successful head coach to work on both sides of the 49th parallel. Grant, who actually played briefly for the Minnesota Lakers in the NBA before switching to football, coached the Winnipeg Blue Bombers from 1957 until 1966, winning four Grey Cups. The Minnesota Vikings hired Grant in 1967. In 16 seasons in Minnesota, Grant led the Vikings to one NFL title, three NFC Championships, and four Super Bowl losses. Grant, the first person to coach in both a Grey Cup game and a Super Bowl, is a member of both the Canadian Football Hall of Fame and the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton. Bud Grant spent had a lot of good years with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers before taking the Vikings to four Super Bowls. (Photo from the Canadian Football Hall of Fame and Museum) Marv Levy Like Grant, Marv Levy also has the distinction of taking teams to four Super Bowls but never winning a ring. And, like Grant, Levy had plenty of success in Canada before coming to the States. After more than two decades as an American college coach and NFL assistant, Levy got his first professional head coaching gig with the CFL’s Montreal Alouettes. His stint with the Alouettes mirrored Marc Trestman’s: Levy also won two Grey Cups in five seasons (1974 and 1977). The Kansas City Chiefs hired Levy out of Montreal in 1978 but fired him four years later. After a brief stop with the Chicago Blitz of the USFL, Levy ended up in Buffalo, where he took over as the Bills head coach in the middle of the 1986 season. He would take the Bills on four consecutive trips to the Super Bowl in the late 1980s and early 1990s but would never hoist the Lombardi Trophy. Prior to his tenure with the Buffalo Bills, Marv Levy coached the Montreal Alouettes to two Grey Cups. (Photo from the Montreal Gazette) Forrest Gregg After three so-so seasons as head coach of the Cleveland Browns in the 1970s, Forrest Gregg—who had won six NFL titles as a player with the Packers and Cowboys—crossed the border and coached the Toronto Argonauts in 1979. Gregg had one unremarkable 5-11 season in Toronto before the Cincinnati Bengals brought him back to the U.S. Gregg’s Bengals went to Super Bowl XVI, where they lost to the San Francisco 49ers. Gregg coached the Packers from 1984 to 1987 then returned to his college alma mater, Southern Methodist, in hopes of resurrecting SMU’s football program after it received the death penalty. He returned to the CFL in 1994, coaching the Shreveport Pirates during the CFL’s brief expansion into the United States. While Grant, Levy, and Gregg all led NFL teams to Super Bowls following their tenure in Canada, success in the CFL doesn’t always translate to success in the NFL. Hugh Campbell The Houston Oilers hired Edmonton Eskimos head coach Hugh Campbell in 1984 after Campbell’s Eskimos had won an incredible five consecutive Grey Cups. Campbell came to Houston with his quarterback, Warren Moon, whose success in Edmonton sparked a bidding war south of the border. The Oilers paid Moon handsomely, and he would go on to a Hall of Fame NFL career. But Campbell and Moon’s first couple years in the States were rough. After he went 8-22 in two seasons in Houston, the Oilers fired Campbell in 1985. He would win another four Grey Cups as Edmonton’s general manager. Mike Riley Mike Riley coached the Winnipeg Blue Bombers from 1987-1990, winning two Grey Cups in that span. After spending the 1990s in the World League of American Football (remember that little experiment?) and the Pac-10, Riley got a head coaching gig with the San Diego Chargers. He went 14-34 in three seasons with the Chargers. Riley has spent the last decade as head coach at Oregon State. *** We have no way of knowing how Marc Trestman will fare in Chicago. Maybe, like Grant and Levy, he’ll lead the Bears to four Super Bowls. Or maybe he’ll flame out after a few seasons and end up in the MAC by the end of the decade. At any rate, whether Trestman succeeds or fails in the NFL will depend more on what he can do with Jay Cutler and the Bears offense than on anything he did in Montreal. The post A Brief History of CFL Coaches in the NFL appeared first on Midwest Sports Fans.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Brady issues statement on Facebook after having suspension lifted

Don Orsillo reportedly asked to lie about being fired by NESN

Matt Cassel believes Bills will keep three quarterbacks

St. Louis police seize scalpers' World Series tickets to give to friends

Eli Manning happy Tom Brady will play NFL season opener

Phil Kessel has shed 13 pounds this summer

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Cam Newton addresses ‘gang’ photo on Instagram

Steelers defense is younger and faster but not better

Duke basketball to visit White House next Tuesday

Report: Cowboys have interest in Broncos RB Montee Ball

NFL owners to discuss changing Goodell's disciplinary role

Report: Eagles trade Matt Barkley to Arizona Cardinals

WATCH: Ben Revere gifted Matt Wieters a home run

Judge Sarah Thomas as an NFL official, not a female NFL official

Redskins skip Robert Griffin III in jersey countdown

Wisconsin vs Alabama preview

Simona Halep popular with fans who want to kiss her

Patriots planned on raising a "Brady banner on opening night

Braves and Phillies sucking at the same time is rare

Montana St. linebacker delivers bone crushing hit in opener

Despite loss, all eyes still on Jim Harbaugh, Wolverines

Kirk Cousins discusses what it’s like to be called ‘Kurt’

Playoffs or not, Bryce Harper is the NL MVP

Donald Sterling’s wife Shelly seeking alimony

Chicago Bears and Jay Cutler: A love/hate relationship

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Wisconsin vs Alabama preview

Tom Brady issues statement on Facebook

Robert Griffin III and a dream deferred

Best, worst surprises of NFL preseason

The Gospel Of Harbaugh prepares for its ultimate test of faith

Meet the Utah Utes, the pluckiest program in college football

Iman Shumpert will name daughter Iman Shumpert Jr.

Dallas company celebrates Romo with DirecTV 'crownies'

Top 10 storylines for Week 4 of the NFL preseason

Matt Williams is still hopelessly married to the idea of the closer’s role

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker