|Jim Barker Showing His True Colours (Photo courtesy of http://www.argos-suck.com/)|
Barker took a moribund Argonaut team that had won seven games in the previous two seasons combined and took them to the East Division Final in 2010. He did it with unarguably the worst starting Quarterback in the CFL in Cleo Lemon. He made the Argos matter again. Barker beat out Marc Trestman of Montreal and Ken Miller of Saskatchewan.
That said, if everyone agrees that Barker won the award because of how he turned Toronto around, why was Marcel Bellefeuille denied the same recognition just last year? Bellefeuille ended up losing the award to Trestman. Ken Miller was again the other finalist.
Bellefeuille did everything Barker did in 2010, just one year earlier. The only differences are that the Tiger-Cats did not win a playoff game, and Bellefeuille had a better Quarterback.
But still, many say that the Coach of the Year award is given to the coach who did the most with the least or who ended up exceeding expectations. In 2010, that was easily Barker. In 2009, it was easily Bellefeuille. Yet Bellefeuille was passed over in favour of Trestman. Yes, Montreal had a phenomenal season, finishing 15-3 and winning the Grey Cup, but I believe, as I did a year ago, that Bellefeuille should have been given the award.
I take nothing away from Jim Barker; he absolutely deserved to win this award. Six wins was the over/under for the Argos in 2010 – with many taking the under – so to win nine and a playoff game went above and beyond. Congratulations to Jim Barker.