Tom Higgins (Canadian football)

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Tom Higgins
Born: (1954-07-13) July 13, 1954 (age 64)
Woodbridge, New Jersey
Career information
CFL statusInternational
Position(s)LB
Height6 ft 2 in (188 cm)
Weight235 lb (107 kg)
CollegeNorth Carolina State
High schoolColonia
Career history
As administrator
19941996Edmonton Eskimos (Asst. GM)
19972001Edmonton Eskimos (GM/COO)
20012004Edmonton Eskimos (GM)
20082013CFL Director of Officiating
As coach
1982–1984University of Calgary (DC)
19851987Calgary Stampeders (DL coach)
1988Calgary Stampeders (OL coach)
19891990Calgary Stampeders (OC)
19911992Calgary Stampeders (DL coach)
1993Calgary Stampeders (Asst. HC)
20012004Edmonton Eskimos (HC)
20052007Calgary Stampeders (HC)
20142015Montreal Alouettes (HC)
As player
19761978Calgary Stampeders
1979Buffalo Bills
1980Saskatchewan Roughriders
Career highlights and awards
  • Grey Cup champion As HC 2003; as AC 1992
  • Vanier Cup champion 1983
Awards2003 Annis Stukus Trophy
2005 Annis Stukus Trophy
Career stats

Thomas Joseph John Higgins Jr. (born July 13, 1954) is a former head coach in the Canadian Football League (CFL). Higgins previously served as the Director of Officiating for the CFL and is 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 nose guard 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. He was fired after a first round loss during the 2007 playoffs.

Higgins served as the Director 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. Tom coached a historic 2014 football season starting 1-7, turning the team around to a 9-9 second place finish, hosting a play off game and defeating the BC Lions. [4] On August 21, 2015, Alouettes ownership relieved Tom of his coaching duties.[5]

CFL head coaching record[edit]

Team Year Regular season Postseason
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 9 9 0 .500 2nd in East Division 1 1 Lost in Division Finals
MTL 2015 3 5 0 .375 4th in East Division 0 0 Relieved of duties
Total 81 62 1 .566 3 Division
Championships
4 7 1 Grey Cup

Personal[edit]

Tom and his wife Sharon have three grown children, Holly, Hillary and Thomas.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Tom Higgins Archived 2008-02-13 at the Wayback Machine., database Football. Accessed November 14, 2007.
  2. ^ "Peter Connellan". cfhof.ca. Canadian Football Hall of Fame. 2012.
  3. ^ http://www.cbc.ca/sports/football/cfl/tom-higgins-resigning-as-cfl-director-of-officiating-1.2452564
  4. ^ https://www.tsn.ca/cfl/story/?id=444578
  5. ^ "Alouettes fire Higgins as Head Coach; GM Popp to take over". TSN. Retrieved August 21, 2015.
Preceded by
Don Matthews
Grey Cup-winning head coach
91st Grey Cup, 2003
Succeeded by
Pinball Clemons