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Jim Popp

Jim Popp

Vice President, General Manager,
Director of Football Operations
Director of Player Personnel, Head Coach


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.

Born on 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, where Jim has been inducted into the local Sports Hall-of-
Fame. They also spend part of the year in Montreal.

 

The Alouettes under Jim Popp
YR GP W L T PTS
1996 18 12 6 0 24
1997 18 13 5 0 26
1998 18 12 5 1 25
1999 18 12 6 0 24
2000 18 12 6 0 24
2001 18 9 9 0 18
2002 18 13 5 0 27
2003 18 13 5 0 26
2004 18 14 4 0 28
2005 18 10 8 0 20
2006 18 10 8 0 20
2007 18 8 10 0 16
2008 18 11 7 0 22
2009 18 15 3 0 30
2010 18 12 6 0 24
2011 18 10 8 0 20
2012 18 11 7 0 22
2013 18 8 10 0 16
2014 18 9 9 18
TOT 342 214 127 1 406