Jim Popp – VP, GM, Director of Football Operations Director of Player Personnel
Vice President, General Manager,
Director of Football Operations, Director of Player Personnel
2016 – Now in his 21st season with the Alouettes, Jim Popp has built the Alouettes into the CFL’s most successful franchise of the last two decades. With three victories in eight Grey Cup appearances in an 11-year span, he has been recognized as the winningest general manager in CFL history. In 2011, he was named executive of the year at Canada’s Media Sports Awards. This body of work has caught the attention of many people and businesses across North America and several have inquired about his service.
Popp will continue as Head Coach in 2016 after taking over mid-season 2015. As Head Coach, he has lead the Alouettes to the playoffs four out of five seasons, including leading the Alouettes to a first place finish in the East Division and an appearance in the 2006 Grey Cup game.
The rare ability to build expansion teams and help turnaround established franchises into winning organizations is what makes Popp so special. His accomplishments are impressive, holding an overall CFL record of 237-159-1 as a General Manager. He also led the Alouettes/Stallions franchise to seven consecutive seasons of 12 or more victories (1994-2000) a feat matched by no other CFL team or General Manager. Of the three CFL coaches ever to win back-to-back Coach of the Year honours, two did so working with him (Don Matthews 1994-1995 and Charlie Taaffe 1999-2000). Over the past 24 years in the CFL (two years with the Saskatchewan Roughriders, two with the Baltimore Stallions and 20 with the Montreal Alouettes), his teams have reached the playoffs twenty-three times, appearing in 17 division championships and in 10 Grey Cups, winning four championships. Under Popp, the Alouettes have reached the Eastern Final in 15 of the last 20 seasons. Montreal has also made Grey Cup appearances in 2000, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006 (as head coach), 2008, 2009 and 2010 winning the big game in 2002, 2009 and 2010.
Before coming to the CFL, he helped form the Professional Spring Football League in 1992, serving as the league’s Director of Player Personnel and collaborated with former NFL Coach Walt Michaels. In 1991, he served as the Wide Receivers, Special Teams, and Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Raleigh-Durham Skyhawks of the World League of American Football (later known as NFL Europe) under the guidance of NFL great, Roman Gabriel.
He coached at the collegiate level for five seasons having evolved with the Citadel (1988-1990) under Charlie Taaffe; North Carolina (1987) under Dick Crum; and Michigan State (1986) under George Perles. He played college football for three seasons at Michigan State (1983-1985) where Perles was already the Head Coach, as a wide receiver and defensive back. His position coaches at Michigan State were Nick Saban, currently the Head Coach of the University of Alabama Crimson Tide and retired NFL assistant Head Coach Charlie Baggett.
Popp didn’t have to look too far for inspiration as his father, Joe Popp, was a decorated football coach for five decades. He coached at all levels, from high school to the NFL, retiring in 1991 with the Cleveland Browns. The Stadium in Jim’s hometown of Mooresville, NC is named Coach Joe Popp Stadium after his late father.
|The Alouettes under Jim Popp|