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Hufnagel named CFL's top coach

Last Updated: Tuesday, March 3, 2009 | 1:42 PM ET

Alouettes head coach Marc Trestman, right, bowed to Calgary's John Hufnagel, left, twice in the 2008 CFL regular season and later in the 96th Grey Cup. Alouettes head coach Marc Trestman, right, bowed to Calgary's John Hufnagel, left, twice in the 2008 CFL regular season and later in the 96th Grey Cup. (Paul Chiasson/Canadian Press)

John Hufnagel has managed to get the better of fellow rookie head coach Marc Trestman for a fourth consecutive time on Tuesday by winning the CFL's award for coach of the year.

The Calgary Stampeders' Hufnagel beat out the Montreal Alouettes' Trestman and Saskatchewan Roughriders coach Ken Miller to win the honour, voted on by the Football Reporters of Canada.

Hufnagel earned 37 first-place votes, compared to eight for Trestman and two for Miller.

Hufnagel was presented the Annis Stukus trophy by league commissioner Mark Cohon at the CFL Congress in Hamilton, Ont.

"It's a very nice award for our organization," said Hufnagel. "That's how I view it, it's a team award. I'm very honoured and I'm hoping the job I did this year, and I'm not counting wins and losses. I'm talking about the relationships I established with the players, staff and within the organization, can improve."

Other Calgary coaches who have won the award include Tom Higgins (2005), Wally Buono (1992 and 1993), Jack Gotta (1978) and Jerry Williams (1967).

Hufnagel, the Stampeders' offensive co-ordinator from 1990-96, guided them to a league-best 13-5 record last season. Two of those victories came against Trestman's Alouettes, who also fell to Hufnagel 22-14 in the 96th Grey Cup at Montreal's Olympic Stadium.

Under Trestman, the Alouettes ran away with the East Division, going 11-7.

Former Roughriders coach Kent Austin was last year's winner, beating out Buono of the B.C. Lions and Mike (Pinball) Clemons of the Toronto Argonauts.

Miller, doubling as Riders general manager in the absence of Eric Tillman, who is facing a sexual assault charge, had a tough act to follow in Austin, who won the Grey Cup in his first year in Regina.

Miller's squad overcame a multitude of injuries to post a 12-6 mark in the regular season, good for second place in the West.

With files from Canadian Press
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