Jim Popp: ‘If people want to have a chance to win a championship, I’m available’

Jim Popp would welcome a return to Montreal.

The former Alouettes general manager won three Grey Cups while in La Belle Province.

“Listen, it’s interesting to me. Let’s just put it that way. I would love to return there and be the GM. I don’t think I should have ever left Montreal. I don’t think I ever should have been out of a job,” Popp told Montreal Gazette reporter Herb Zurkowsky.

“There’s more to doing the job than winning and losing. There’s a lot of things to the job that I do right — working with people and giving them opportunities. Getting people to perform. If people want to have a chance to win a championship, I’m available.”

Popp was hired by the Toronto Argonauts in February 2017. He signed a three-year contract which ran out at the end of the 2019 season. The 54-year-old made $600,000 annually while with the double blue. The Argos fired Popp in October.

His first year in Toronto the Argos finished 9-9, which was enough for first place in the East Division and a bye to the East Final. Ricky Ray led a late drive for the boatmen to come back and beat Saskatchewan, advancing to the Grey Cup. Toronto upset Calgary to win the CFL championship.

The double blue were dead last in 2018 with a 4-14 record — Marc Trestman lost his job because of it. In 2019 the Argos had the second-worst record in the CFL at 4-14 through. Popp’s win-loss mark in Toronto since a Cinderella run to the Grey Cup was 6-26.

Prior to joining the Argos, Popp oversaw Grey Cup winning teams in Baltimore (1995) and Montreal (2002, 2009 and 2010). His teams have gone a combined 269-203-1 with a 27-17 playoff record. As a head coach, Popp sports a 22-36 mark, 1-4 in the post-season. Popp spent two years as the Stallions GM, 21 in the same role for the Alouettes and nearly three with the Argos.

“I’d love nothing better than to be in Montreal,” Popp said. “I have to work and want to work. I’d like to finish my career in the CFL. It’s what I know and have done well.”

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