Tiger-Cats coach Marcel Bellefeuille paid the price Wednesday for falling one game short of the Grey Cup.
"We've had three years trying to get to the point where we could have a winning organization, a winning football team, and getting to where we want to be which is in the Grey Cup," Hamilton GM Bob O'Billovich said after firing Bellefeuille.
"Moving forward we feel we have to make this kind of decision in order to do that."
The firing comes less than two weeks after the 8-10 Ticats came up short in the East Division final against Winnipeg.
It was also one of several moves on a busy day around the league.
The Winnipeg Blue Bombers dumped offensive co-ordinator Jamie Barresi three days after losing the Grey Cup to the B.C. Lions.
And the Toronto Argonauts appeared to have hired Stampeders defensive co-ordinator Chris Jones. Calgary coach John Hufnagel announced the news before the Argos issued a statement later in the day saying that was not so.
Bellefeuille guided the Ticats to a third-place finish in the East Division this season. Hamilton upset the Montreal Alouettes in the East semifinal before dropping a 19-3 decision to the Blue Bombers with a berth in the Grey Cup game on the line.
Bellefeuille, who joined the team as an offensive co-ordinator in December 2007, was named head coach in September 2008.
O'Billovich admitted he agonized over the decision, finally coming to a decision with club officials on Wednesday afternoon.
"The obvious (reason) is there as far as we haven't probably progressed as well or done as well as we had hoped as far as a winning record," O'Billovich said. "We were finally able to beat Montreal in their park to get us closer to our goal but we still have some unfinished business. I just think we need some different direction and someone else to take us to the next level."
O'Billovich said he'll draw up a list of coaches he's interested in, and already has a few in mind. He said he'll definitely interview Ticats defensive co-ordinator Corey Chamblin.
At the top of his list of job qualifications is experience in the CFL. He said he has no preference whether a new coach has a strong offensive or defensive background.
"I want to find somebody who has the leadership capabilities and the ability to be a head coach and put together all of the facets of your football team," O'Billovich said. "When you think about your assistants and your guys you have to develop into a unit to coach and teach your football players."
Bellefeuille was nominated for the CFL coach of the year award after guiding the Ticats to a 9-9 record in 2009, his first full season as head coach. Hamilton finished second in the East that year but lost to the B.C. Lions in the East semifinal.
"There were some very positive things that happened under his leadership, he's helped us to get better, now we want to get more better," O'Billovich said.
Bellefeuille signed a contract extension with the Tiger-Cats in April 2010. Hamilton again finished second in the East at 9-9 but fell to archrival Toronto in the division semifinal.
Before joining Hamilton, Bellefeuille spent two seasons with the Montreal Alouettes and five with the Saskatchewan Roughriders in offensive coaching capacities.