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February 28, 2017

Everything you need to know: Jim Popp

TORONTO, ON - FEBRUARY 28: Toronto Argonauts announce hiring of new General Manager Jim Popp and Head Coach Marc Trestman at a press conference on February 28, 2017 at the BMO Field in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Adam Pulicicchio)

CFL CAREER HIGHLIGHTS:

  • 254 regular season wins as a GM – second all-time to only Wally Buono (284)
  • Four-Time Grey Cup Champion (1995, 2002, 2009, 2010).
  • 10 Grey Cup appearances (1994, 1995, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009 and 2010), the most by a GM in CFL history.
  • 11 first-place finishes.
  • As Baltimore Stallions’ GM, he appeared in two Grey Cups (1994, 1995) and won one (1995).
  • As the Alouettes’ GM, he appeared in eight Grey Cups (2000, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009 and 2010) and won three (2002, 2009, and 2010).
  • Led the most successful expansion franchise in sports history (1994 expansion Baltimore Stallions played in the Grey Cup).
  • Led the only team in the CFL to ever win 18 games (1995 Baltimore Stallions, 15 regular season wins, two playoff wins and the Grey Cup).
  • Named the Sports Executive of the Year in 2011 after leading the Alouettes to back-to-back championships in 2009 and 2010 – the first team to win consecutive Grey Cups since the Argos accomplished the feat in 1996 and 1997.

 

CFL STATS & RECORDS:

All-Time Highest Winning Percentage by a General Manager (Minimum 100 games)

RANK GENERAL MANAGER RECORD WINNING %
1 John Hufnagel (Cgy) 117-43-2 .728
2 Wally Buono (Cgy, BC) 284-164-2 .634
3 Jim Popp (Blt, Mtl) 254-159-1 .614
4 Norm Kimball (Edm) 190-118-2 .613


Identifying, Recruiting and Developing Players:
Under his leadership, Popp has identified, recruited and developed some of the league’s biggest stars and most dominant players over the past 20 years: Anthony Calvillo, Mike Pringle, Robert Drummond, SJ Green, Chip Cox, John Bowman, Ben Cahoon, Bryan Chiu, Duron Carter, Brandon Whitaker, Chad Owens.

Identifying, Recruiting and Developing Coaches and Administrators: Popp has also been successful in identifying, recruiting and developing coaches and executives over the past two decades, including but not limited to: Marcel Desjardins (GM, Ottawa Redblacks), Jim Barker (Former Argos GM and Head Coach), Marc Trestman (HC Toronto Argonauts), Marcus Brady (former Offensive Coordinator), Tim Burke (former Head Coach Winnipeg Blue Bombers), Chris Jones (VP of Football Ops GM and Head Coach, Saskatchewan Roughriders), Scott Milanovich (Former Argos Head Coach), Doug Berry (Former Head Coach Winnipeg Blue Bombers), Brendan Taman (former GM), Danny Maciocia (Former GM and HC), Charlie Taafe (Former Head Coach),

 

TIMELINE:

1983-1985: Played at Michigan State

1992-1993: Saskatchewan Roughriders – Wide Receivers Coach and Director, Player Personnel

The Roughriders qualified for the playoffs in both seasons Popp was on the staff, finishing with a 9-9 record in 1992 and 11-7 in 1993.

1994-1995: Baltimore Stallions – General Manager and Director, Player Personnel (27-9)

In Baltimore’s inaugural season in the CFL, they finished second in the East Division with a 12-6 record and appeared in the Grey Cup. In his second season, the Stallions finished in first place in the South Division with a league-best 15-3 record and went on to win the Grey Cup. They won 18 total games that year including the playoffs and Grey Cup – the most wins in a single season in history of the CFL.

1996-2016: Montreal Alouettes – Vice President, Football Operations, General Manager (227-150-1)

After Baltimore relocated to Montreal in 1996, Popp was hired as General Manager. He led the Alouettes to three Grey Cup championships, eight East Division titles, 10 first place finishes, and 17 seasons with a record above .500 over a 21-year span.

 

PERSONAL:

Place of Birth: Elkin, North Carolina

College: Michigan State

Family: Popp and his wife Kimberly have six children and reside in North Carolina.

Notes: 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 honour (Coach Joe Popp Stadium).