Tom Higgins (Canadian football)

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Tom Higgins
Date of birth: (1954-07-13) July 13, 1954 (age 59)
Place of birth: Woodbridge, New Jersey
Career information
Status: Retired
CFL status: Import
Position(s): LB
Height: 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight: 235 lb (107 kg)
College: North Carolina State
High school: Colonia
Organizations
As administrator:
19941996
19972001
20012004
20082013
Edmonton Eskimos (Asst. GM)
Edmonton Eskimos (GM/COO)
Edmonton Eskimos (GM)
CFL Director of Officiating
As coach:
1982–1984
19851987
1988
19891990
19911992
1993
20012004
20052007
2014–present
University of Calgary (DC)
Calgary Stampeders (DL coach)
Calgary Stampeders (OL coach)
Calgary Stampeders (OC)
Calgary Stampeders (DL coach)
Calgary Stampeders (Asst. HC)
Edmonton Eskimos (HC)
Calgary Stampeders (HC)
Montreal Alouettes (HC)
As player:
19761978
1979
1980
Calgary Stampeders
Buffalo Bills
Saskatchewan Roughriders
Career highlights and awards
  • Grey Cup champion As HC 2003; as AC 1992
  • Vanier Cup champion 1983
Awards: 2003 Annis Stukus Trophy
2005 Annis Stukus Trophy
Career stats
Playing stats at NFL.com

Thomas Joseph John Higgins, Jr. (born July 13, 1954 in Colonia, New Jersey) is the head coach of the Montreal Alouettes the Canadian Football League. Higgins previously served as the Director of Officiating for the Canadian Football League and a former Canadian and American football player coach and General Manager.

Early years[edit]

Higgins, the son of a former Philadelphia Eagles tackle, Tom Higgins, Sr., was a high school football standout at Colonia High School in Woodbridge Township, New Jersey.[1] He played linebacker at North Carolina State University. He was an All-American and was a starter in four consecutive bowl games. He was also an All-American wrestler at NC State.

Professional playing career[edit]

After graduating from college in 1976, Higgins attempted to enter the National Football League, but was not selected in the 1976 NFL Draft. He instead played in the Canadian Football League with the Calgary Stampeders for three years. In 1979, Higgins was signed by the Buffalo Bills and played one year in the United States, before returning to Saskatchewan Roughriders in the CFL.

Coaching career[edit]

After retiring as a player, Higgins began coaching at the University of Calgary, winning the 1983 CIS title in the second of his three years as an assistant coach under Canadian Football Hall of Fame coach Peter Connellan.[2] In 1985, Higgins joined the Stampeders coaching staff, serving in many different capacities until becoming a head coach in 2001.

Higgins became head coach of the CFL's Edmonton Eskimos later that year, leading the team to the playoffs in each of his four seasons. In 2002 and 2003, he won division titles, and he won a single Grey Cup as a head coach, with the Eskimos in 2003.

In 2005 he returned to the Calgary Stampeders as head coach. He held this position for three years, making the playoffs in each, but with the team's record also declining each season. He was fired after a first round loss during the 2007 playoffs.

Higgins served as the CFL's Head of Officiating from April 2008 to December 2013.[3]

Higgins was hired as the new head coach of the Montreal Alouettes on February 24, 2014, succeeding Jim Popp who took over from Dan Hawkins during the 2013 season.[4]

CFL coaching record[edit]

Team Year Regular Season Post Season
Won Lost Ties Win % Finish Won Lost Result
EDM 2001 9 9 0 .500 1st in West Division 0 1 Lost in Division Finals
EDM 2002 13 5 0 .722 1st in West Division 1 1 Lost in Grey Cup
EDM 2003 13 5 0 .722 1st in West Division 2 0 Won Grey Cup
EDM 2004 9 9 0 .500 2nd in West Division 0 1 Lost in Division Semi-Finals
CGY 2005 11 7 0 .611 2nd in West Division 0 1 Lost in Division Semi-Finals
CGY 2006 10 8 0 .556 2nd in West Division 0 1 Lost in Division Semi-Finals
CGY 2007 7 10 1 .417 3rd in West Division 0 1 Lost in Division Semi-Finals
MTL 2014 0 0 0 .000 East Division 0 0
Total 72 53 1 .571 3 Division
Championship
3 6 1 Grey Cup

Personal[edit]

He has a wife and three children, one of whom is also named Thomas. His two others named Holly and Hilary. His brother, Dan Higgins, played football at North Carolina State, as well. He is currently the head football coach at Piscataway High School in New Jersey. Tom and Dan's father, Tom Higgins, played in the NFL for the Chicago Cardinals and Philadelphia Eagles. Tom Sr. was a legendary coach at Piscataway High School prior to his son, Dan, coaching there. Tom Sr. resides in Piscataway with his wife, Sedora.

References[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Jim Popp
Montreal Alouettes Head Coaches
2014-present
Succeeded by
current coach
Preceded by
Matt Dunigan
Calgary Stampeders Head Coaches
2005–2007
Succeeded by
John Hufnagel
Preceded by
Don Matthews
Edmonton Eskimos Head Coaches
2001–2004
Succeeded by
Danny Maciocia
Awards
Preceded by
Don Matthews
Grey Cup winning Head Coach
91st Grey Cup, 2003
Succeeded by
Pinball Clemons