Carabins hire ex-quarterback Anthony Calvillo as assistant coach

Anthony Calvillo is joining the Montreal Carabins coaching staff. (Graham Hughes/CP)

MONTREAL — Anthony Calvillo is returning to his adopted home.

The Canadian Football Hall of Fame quarterback accepted a position as assistant head coach of the Montreal Carabins U Sports program under head coach Danny Maciocia on Wednesday.

Maciocia was a member of the Montreal Alouettes coaching staff when Calvillo began his 16-year run with the team in 1998.

This past year, Calvillo, 46, served as quarterbacks coach for the Toronto Argonauts under former Alouettes head coach Marc Trestman, who was fired following the season. Before that, the Los Angeles native was an assistant coach with the Alouettes following his retirement in 2014.

Calvillo’s wife, Alexia, is from Montreal and the couple has two daughters. Calvillo expressed a desire to be closer to them in explaining his decision to accept a two-year contract.

"I want to be under one roof with my family," he said at a news conference. "That’s the one thing that was very important to me. I wanted to be back in this community. This is where my roots are and this is my foundation."

Calvillo also said the chance to work in the university ranks appealed to him. He also had talks with Concordia University in Montreal.

"At the end of the day, I want to be able to influence young men," he said. "That’s what it comes down to. Just because of what my high school and college coach did for me. It’s just my way of giving back."

Maciocia feels Calvillo’s personality suits the university game perfectly.

"What I think a kid’s going to appreciate is the human being," Maciocia said. "He’s so engaging, he’s non-threatening, you want to be around him. Recruiting is all about relationships. … Anybody you speak to about AC has nothing but great things to say about him."

The Carabins have won one Vanier Cup and finished runner-up once since Maciocia, a former Edmonton Eskimos head coach, took over the program in 2011.

"I wanted to be part of something special," Calvillo said. "What the University of Montreal has done here, what they’ve done with their sports programs, what Danny has done with their football program has taken it to a certain level that they should be proud of and I know they’re very proud of and I want to be part of that."

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