The curious coaching career of Gary Crowton took another downward twist Sunday, after former BYU quarterback Max Hall’s performance in his first start in the Canadian Football League was not good enough to save Crowton’s job.
Crowton was fired as the Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ offensive coordinator Sunday, marking the end of his fourth job since he resigned as BYU’s coach following the 2004 season.
Hall, the third quarterback to start for Winnipeg (1-6) in the first half of the season, completed 18 of 30 passes for 241 yards and one touchdown, with two interceptions and a fumble in Friday’s 37-18 loss to Hamilton. The Blue Bombers’ top receiver was injured and Hall blamed the interceptions on miscommunication with reserves on pass routes.
“I thought I did some good things,” Hall said in a video posted on the team’s website. “The good thing is, there are things we can fix.”
Crowton, whose BYU tenure ended two years before Hall arrived on campus, will be not around to fix them. In his second CFL season, Crowton’s position had become tenuous last week when the team hired another offensive assistant.
“Obviously, we have offensive woes,” said Tim Burke, Winnipeg’s first-year coach.
After leaving BYU, the 56-year-old Crowton coordinated college offenses at Oregon, LSU and Maryland before landing in the CFL, where “offence” is the standard spelling and the Blue Bombers’ backdrop for news conferences is sponsored by Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries. Even though the Orem native called the plays for LSU’s national championship team in 2007, none of those tenures has ended well. His last game at Oregon was the 2006 Las Vegas Bowl, a 38-8 victory for BYU.
Hall, who spent the 2012 season as a BYU student assistant coach, signed with the Blue Bombers in April. As an undrafted rookie, Hall beat the reigning champion New Orleans Saints in his first NFL start for Arizona in October 2010, but a concussion and two shoulder injuries led the Cardinals to cut ties with him before the following season.
Hall, 27, won a school-record 32 games in three seasons as BYU’s starting quarterback. He hopes to remain the Blue Bombers’ starter Saturday when Winnipeg visits Hamilton in a rematch.