Jim Popp – General Manager
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),
Jim Popp is back for his third season as the General Manager of the Argonauts.
He joined the Argos in February 2017 and nine months later was lifting the Grey Cup, the fifth time he’d won the trophy.
The 19th General Manager in team history, Popp came to Toronto after one of the most successful tenures in CFL history. As the GM and Vice President of Football Operations in Montreal, his Alouette teams finished 240-155-1, combining regular season and playoff games. He’d be the only GM in league history to put together seven consecutive seasons of 12 or more wins.
In an 11-season stretch between 2000 and 2010, Popp’s teams reached the Grey Cup game a remarkable eight times, winning the trophy in 2002, 2009 and 2010.
His time in Montreal followed two seasons in Baltimore, where he put together a team that went to the Grey Cup as an expansion team in 1994, before winning it a year later. The ’95 Stallions were 15-3 in the regular season, then defeated Winnipeg, San Antonio and Calgary in the playoffs to become the first, and still only team to win 18 games in a season. A recipient of the Sports Media Canada Executive of the Year, Popp entered the 2019 season with 287 wins as a General Manager (regular season and playoffs), trailing only Wally Buono on the CFL all-time list.
Popp started his CFL career in 1992 with the Saskatchewan Roughriders as their Receivers Coach and Director of Player Personnel before heading to Baltimore.
After his playing days at Michigan State concluded, his coaching career began at the age of 21 as a student coach, working with the Spartans receivers and defensive backs. He then spent a year at the University of North Carolina coaching quarterbacks and running backs, before a three-year run as an assistant at The Citadel under Head Coach Charlie Taaffe.
He’d spend one year as an assistant to Roman Gabriel in the WLAF/NFL Europe with the Raleigh-Durham Skyhawks before getting his feet wet on the managerial side of the sport in 1991-92 as the League Director of Player Personnel for the Professional Spring Football League.
Then it was off to Canada.
Not limited to a front-office role, Popp was the Alouettes interim Head Coach on five separate occasions between 2001 and 2016, he also held that position full-time for the entire 2007 campaign.
Born in Elkin, North Carolina, he and his wife Kimberly still reside in the Tar Heel State with their six children. Popp gives much of the credit for his success to his father Joe, a former NFL and college coach. Both father and son are members of the Mooresville High School Hall of Fame. The North Carolina school plays its home games at Coach Joe Popp Stadium.
2017-present: Toronto Argonauts, General Manager
1996-2016: Montreal Alouettes, VP Football Operations and General Manager
1994-95: Baltimore Stallions, General Manager and Director, Player Personnel
1992-93: Saskatchewan Roughriders, Wide Receivers Coach and Director, Player Personnel
1991-92: Professional Spring Football League, League Director of Player Personnel
1991: Raleigh-Durham Skyhawks. WLAF/NFL Europe, Receivers, Special Teams and Strength and Conditioning Coach.
1988-90: The Citadel, Quarterbacks, Wide Receivers, Running Backs Coach
1987: University of North Carolina, Graduate Coach, Running Backs and Quarterbacks
1986: Michigan State University, Student Coach, Wide Receivers and Defensive Backs