MONTREAL, Que. - Marc Trestman isn't going anywhere - for now.
Montreal Alouettes owner Bob Wettenhall announced Thursday that Trestman has signed a two-year contract extension to serve as head coach through the 2012 season.
Wettenhall revealed that the contract extension was agreed to early in the season, but Trestman wanted to hold off on the announcement until the season was over to avoid having it distract his team while it was on its way to winning the Grey Cup.
"It was Marc's wish that no announcement be made because he wanted the focus to be on the players, and not on Marc Trestman," Wettenhall said.
This means that when rumours began to swirl late in the CFL season that Trestman was a candidate for the vacant coaching position with the NFL's Buffalo Bills, it was already a moot point.
But general manager Jim Popp says he expects Trestman's name to continue coming up in rumours, simply because that's what happens with successful coaches.
"I'm sure if his name pops up or someone wants to speculate, it will start over again," Popp said. "But it was just said right here that he has a contract until 2012. He's here. You heard it from his mouth."
Trestman would not say whether or not a job in the NFL would interest him in the future, but he did say that this new contract means he will remain in Montreal for three more years.
"I don't want to speculate on interest or no interest," Trestman said. "It's not an issue today. The issue today is that we're here to announce that I'm going to be with the Alouettes until 2012."
Trestman says the most determining factor in his decision to originally take the job with the Alouettes was that it allowed him to keep his family in his hometown of Raleigh, N.C., allowing his teenage daughters to remain in the same school with their friends.
"When you have kids in high school, in junior high, you want to be a part of their lives," Trestman said. "This job really gives me the best of both worlds."
The hotel where the announcement was made Thursday was the same hotel where Wettenhall, Popp and team president Larry Smith held two days of meetings two years earlier to whittle down a list of 11 head coaching candidates.
Though Trestman had no CFL experience, Wettenhall says he was immediately impressed.
"One of the last interviews happened to be coach Trestman," Wettenhall said. "It did not take me long to decide in my own mind that we would be very fortunate if he would consider being our head coach."
Trestman made an immediate impact on his players, lining them all up on the first day of training camp and playing O Canada as a sign of respect for the country where they will be playing that season.
"We were looking at each other funny, that's for sure," quarterback Anthony Calvillo said, recalling that first experience with Trestman.
Since that first day Trestman has had nothing but success, guiding the Alouettes to 26 wins in 36 regular season games and two Grey Cup appearances, capped by last month's championship victory over the Saskatchewan Roughriders.
Although it would appear as though Trestman has accomplished everything possible in only two years as a CFL head coach, he said that couldn't be further from the truth.
"How our team handles success will be the greatest challenge we have," Trestman said. "It's far more difficult to handle success than it is to handle adversity."
In that sense, Trestman has already had a very difficult two years in the CFL.