Jim Irsay set the Twitterverse afire by mentioning the CFL’s Jim Popp. That leads me to ask, “Who is Jim Popp?” Turns out he’s an American managing a Canadian team with serious street cred: lots of titles and more than a handful of players who moved up to the NFL.
His accomplishments are nonetheless already impressive holding the best overall record of any CFL general manager in the last 16 years leading the Alouettes to five consecutive seasons of 12 or more victories (1996-2000), becoming one of only three teams in CFL history to accomplish that feat. Of the three CFL coaches ever to win back-to-back Coach of the Year honours, two did so working under him (Don Matthews 1994-1995 and Charlie Taaffe 1999-2000).
He coached at the collegiate level for five seasons having evolved with the Citadel (1988-90) under Charlie Taaffe; North Carolina (1987) under Dick Crum; and Michigan State (1986) under George Perles. He played college football for three seasons at Michigan State (1983-85) under Perles, as a wide receiver and defensive back. His position coaches at Michigan State were Nick Saban (head coach at University of Alabama and former head coach of the Miami Dolphins) and Charlie Baggett (former assistant head coach of the Miami Dolphins and now an assistant coach with the St. Louis Rams).