Vice President, General Manager,
2015 – Now in his 20th season with the Alouettes, Jim Popp has built the team into the CFL’s most successful franchise of the last two decades. With three Grey Cup victories since 2002, he has been recognized as the winningest GM 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 several NFL franchises in which Popp has interviewed numerous times over the past years.
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 224-117-1 as a GM.
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 23 years in the CFL (two years with the Saskatchewan Roughriders, two with Baltimore Stallions, and 18 with the Montreal Alouettes), his teams have appeared in the playoffs every year, appearing in 17 division championships and in 10 Grey Cups, winning four championships. Under Popp, the Als have reached the Eastern Final in 15 of the last 19 seasons. Montreal have also made Grey Cup appearances in 2000, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006 (as head coach), 2008, 2009 and 2010 winning in 2002, 2009 and in 2010.
Before joining the Alouettes, he served as the General Manager and director of player personnel in 1994-1995 with the Baltimore Stallions. In 1995, the Stallions established a league record for wins in a season with a combined 18-3 record, including the season, playoffs and Grey Cup. The Stallions won their last 13 games and remain the only American team to have won the Grey Cup. The 1995 Stallions team had a total of 14 players go on to sign NFL contracts and surprised no one by winning the championship. The 1994 Stallions have the distinction of being the most successful expansion franchise, going 12-6-0, winning the East Division
Popp was the Saskatchewan Roughriders’ director of player personnel and wide receivers coach under Don Matthews in 1992-1993. The Roughriders had two successful seasons while he was with the club, appearing in the playoffs both years. In those two years of building the Roughriders, Saskatchewan enjoyed their best records that lasted for approximately 15 years until their recent success.
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 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) under Perles, as a wide receiver and defensive back. His position coaches at Michigan State were Nick Saban, currently the Head Coach of the National Championship University of Alabama Crimson Tide and retired NFL assistant Head Coach Charlie Baggett.
Born December 21, 1964 in Elkin, North Carolina, Popp is married to Kimberly Hamilton Popp. They have six children, all born in Montreal: three girls; twins Hannah and Hayley, and Ella-Rae; and three boys; Preston, Hudson, and Payton-James. His family lives in Mooresville, North Carolina, where Jim has been inducted to the local Sports Hall-of-Fame, but they also spend some time in Montreal.
|The Alouettes under Jim Popp|