Jim Popp

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Jim Popp
Montreal Alouettes
Date of birth (1964-12-21) December 21, 1964 (age 51)
Place of birth Elkin, North Carolina
Career information
Position(s) Vice President, General Manager, Director of Football Operations, Director of Player Personnel
College Michigan State University
High school Mooresville High School, Mooresville, NC
Career history
As administrator
19921993 Saskatchewan Roughriders (Wide Receiver Coach / Director of Player Personnel)
19941995 Baltimore Stallions (GM/Director of Player Personnel)
1996–present Montreal Alouettes (VP,GM,Dir. of FB Opts, Dir. of Player Personnel)
As coach
1986 Michigan State (AC)
1987 North Carolina (AC)
1988–1990 The Citadel (AC)
19921993 Saskatchewan Roughriders (WRC)
2001 Montreal Alouettes (HC)
20062007 Montreal Alouettes (HC)
2013 Montreal Alouettes (HC)
20152016 Montreal Alouettes (HC)
As player
1983–1985 Michigan State University
Career highlights and awards
Inducted into Sports Hall-of-Fame, 2011 Sports Executive-of-the-Year, 4 Grey Cup Championships,
Awards 2011 Sports Executive of the Year
Honours 4x Grey Cup champion – (1995, 2002, 2009, 2010), 10 Grey Cup appearances

James "Jim" Popp (born December 21, 1964) is the general manager of the Montreal Alouettes football club of the Canadian Football League (CFL).

Popp has won four Grey Cups (1995 with the Baltimore Stallions; 2002, 2009, and 2010 with the Montreal Alouettes) and his teams have appeared in 10 Grey Cups.

Montreal Alouettes[edit]

Popp was named general manager and director of player personnel of the CFL’s Baltimore Stallions in 1994. After two Grey Cup appearances (including one championship), the team was forced out of Baltimore when the original Cleveland Browns NFL franchise relocated to Baltimore as the Baltimore Ravens. Stallions owner Jim Speros knew that the Stallions could not compete with an NFL team even though they'd been successful in Baltimore. Ultimately, he decided to relocate his team to Montreal as the third incarnation of the Alouettes.

Popp stayed on as general manager, but found himself having to rebuild the team from almost nothing. While the Alouettes were allowed to reclaim the legacy of the original 1946-86 Alouettes, they were not allowed to keep their history as the Stallions. However, while all of the Stallions players were released from their contracts, Popp re-signed most of the key players from that team.

The Alouettes have been in eight Grey Cup Championships during Popp’s tenure (2000, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009 and 2010), capturing the title three times (2002, 2009 and 2010).

Coaching career[edit]

During the 2001 season, Popp took over the team after he and owner Robert Wetenhall fired Rod Rust in the midst of a long losing streak. On October 4, 2006, following the resignation of Don Matthews due to health reasons, Popp again took over as head coach and led the Alouettes to an appearance in the 2006 Grey Cup. Popp continued leading the Alouettes during the 2007 season as well, a rebuilding year which saw the team play with 23 rookies and without their starting quarterback for half the season. Following the 2007 season, Popp decided to step away from the coaching ranks when he hired former NFL coach Marc Trestman as the new head coach of the Alouettes. On August 1, 2013, Popp returned to the sideline after the firing of new head coach Dan Hawkins and was interim head coach for the remainder of the 2013 season. For 2014, Tom Higgins was hired as the Alouettes' head coach and Popp returned to general manager duties full-time. On August 21, 2015, Alouettes ownership relieved Tom Higgins of his coaching duties and brought general manager Popp to the bench for the fourth time. [1] Jim Popp continued on as the head coach for the 2016 CFL season. The first 13 weeks of the season proved to be very tumultuous for the Al's both on the field and in the locker room.[2] Jim Popp only managed to coach Montreal to victories in 3 of first 12 games before relinquishing his responsibilities as head coach to Jacques Chapdelaine who had been serving as a wide receivers coach and special assistant to the offensive coordinator.[3]

Front office executive[edit]

Under Popp’s guidance, his teams have reached the playoffs for 20 consecutive seasons, advancing to the Divisional Championship game 15 times. Popp’s teams have appeared in 10 Grey Cup championship games, winning the Grey Cup four times.

In January 2012, Popp was a finalist for the vacant Indianapolis Colts General Manager position.[4]

Career highlights[edit]

The 2009 and 2010 Alouettes back-to-back Grey Cup championships were the first back-to-back CFL titles in 13 years. Popp’s teams have been some of the most successful in CFL history.

  • The only team to ever win 18 games in a CFL season (Baltimore Stallions - including the final 13 in-a-row)
  • One of three teams in CFL history to have ever won 12 or more games in six consecutive seasons.
  • Popp is the only General Manager to have won 12 or more games in seven consecutive seasons.
  • Notoriety of having the most successful expansion franchise in sports history (1994 expansion Baltimore Stallions played in the Grey Cup Championship).

Personal life[edit]

Popp and his wife Kimberly have six children and split their time between Montreal and North Carolina. Popp credits much of his success on the field to his family, especially his father Joe, a former NFL and college coach. Jim and his father share the privilege of being members of the Mooresville (NC) High School Hall of Fame, whose football stadium is named in Joe’s honor (Coach Joe Popp Stadium).


Popp was named 2011 Sports Executive of the Year by Sports Media Canada.

CFL head coaching record[edit]

Team Year Regular Season Post Season
Won Lost Ties Win % Finish Won Lost Result
MTL 2001 0 1 0 .000 3rd in East Division 0 1 Lost in Division Semi-Finals
MTL 2006 2 2 0 .500 1st in East Division 1 1 Lost in Grey Cup
MTL 2007 8 10 0 .444 3rd in East Division 0 1 Lost in Division Semi-Finals
MTL 2013 6 7 0 .461 3rd in East Division 0 1 Lost in Division Semi-Finals
MTL 2015 3 7 0 .300 4th in East Division 0 0 Did not qualify
MTL 2016 3 9 0 .250 Resigned
Total 22 36 0 .379 1 East Division
1 4 0 Grey Cups


External links[edit]