Higgins new Alouettes coach


It appears Tom Higgins is about to return to the CFL coaching ranks.

According to The Montreal Gazette, Higgins will soon be named the head coach of the Montreal Alouettes.

Higgins, 59, coached for seven seasons in the CFL from 2001-2007 with the Edmonton Eskimos and Calgary Stampeders. He won a Grey Cup with the Eskimos in 2003. Higgins is a two-time winner of the Annis Stukus Trophy given to the CFL Coach of the year, once with the Eskimos in 2003 and again with the Stampeders in 2005.

A former linebacker with the Stampeders and Saskatchewan Roughriders in the CFL and Buffalo Bills in the NFL, Higgins has spent the last five years as the CFL's director of officiating. He left the position this past December.

Higgins takes over the Als' coaching reins from general manager Jim Popp. Popp assumed coaching duties of the team in August when the team fired first-year coach Dan Hawkins.

this is the best move for the Als to be honest.

Could be a good move. After all he has a pretty good resemblance to Mark Trestman who was pretty good there. :stuck_out_tongue:

How long before he's both HC/GM? Any predictions?


depends how long it takes for Popp to agree to the terms of his release I think. Could be real quick

Interesting, sounds like an excellent move for the Als. Yes, could be quick for Popp to be gonzo.

It also means Thorpe could be HC in a couple of years...

I thought that was the plan under Popp originally after they made him assistant HC.

True, but now it can still happen if Popp is out the door, because Higgins can eventually step into the GM role.

...good move for the Als, TH is a decent man for the job

Very good hire by the Als, Higgins will probably end up with the dual GM/HC by next season, seeing as Popp's contract ends after the 2014 season.

Also found this interesting.

[url=http://www.journaldemontreal.com/2014/02/24/les-alouettes-embauchent-tom-higgins-contre-la-volonte-de-jim-popp]http://www.journaldemontreal.com/2014/0 ... e-jim-popp[/url]


Executive Alouettes ruled. Tom Higgins is not Jim Popp to be head coach of the team next season. Popp was not consulted in this decision, learned Le Journal de Montreal . It take the final year of his contract as general manager of the team in 2014.

It goes without saying that it is unhealthy when head coach is hired without the approval of the Chief!

It's a mess, especially after a disappointing season (8-10 record and elimination in the semifinals).

Popp was called to replace Dan Hawkins, who was fired after only five games as head coach in July.

The veteran leader, who has been with the team since his return to Montreal in 1996, was prepared to reoccupy the dual functions.

Dispute over the contract period

Popp however, does not want to engage with the team for a period of four years, as desired by the owner Bob Wetenhall.

He would have preferred to sign a contract extension of two years, who wants to keep the doors open in case a job in the NFL would be offered. His name also circulates each winter in the rumors.

This file has dragged on for two long months and a half. Popp remained on its positions and suspected that the owner had a plan B up his sleeve.

No press conference

The Alouettes have just issued a press release Monday afternoon to announce the new hiring Higgins. The latter will participate in a conference call Tuesday morning at 11:00.

The team said in the statement that personal obligations and time constraints do not allow the holding of a formal press conference.

You guessed that Popp will participate in the press conference on the phone since it is not he who committed Higgins.

Bob Wetenhall and his son Andrew, as well as team president, Mark Weightman will be invited to deliver further comments on this job during the conference call.

Plans are chambardés

Popp had already chosen his successor as head coach of the Alouettes in 2015, the excellent defensive coordinator Christmas Thorpe.

He also chose a new offensive coordinator and contacted other coaches, including francophones, for next season.

Now, this responsibility to fill positions back to Higgins.

An experienced man

Who is he? Higgins led the Edmonton Eskimos from 2001 to 2004 and the Calgary Stampeders from 2005 to 2007.

He won the Grey Cup in 2003, after losing in the final in 2002. However, it has never succeeded in bringing the Stampeders in the final.

It should be noted that Montrealers Danny Maciocia worked with Higgins in Edmonton ...

The future CEO?

Higgins has contacts all over the league. He was director of arbitration in the Canadian Football League from 2008 to 2013.

When he was at the helm of Eskimos from 2001 to 2004, Higgins also acted as CEO of the Alberta training.

It leads us to believe that there may well be called upon to replace Popp at the end of the 2014 season, when the contract expires American.

As head coach in the CFL, the 59-year-old posted a record of 72-53-1.

Higgins was named head coach of the year in the CFL in 2003 and 2005, but has not led a team for seven years.

He could hardly do worse than Hawkins ...

"This news took me by surprise, commented Luc Brodeur-center Jourdain.J 'have however met Higgins few times in the past. He knows the league very well. It has already won the Grey Cup. This is a good communicator. There will be no gray areas as was the case last year, early in the season ... "

According to the Owner there will not be a man holding both positions again. So Higgins may end up as GM or stay as a HC and Popp replaced at the end of his contract or even possibly sooner.

Thats a great translation.

I always thought that Christmas Thorpe was not only a good holiday, but also a good coach :lol:

Can't help but wonder how long it will take Danny Maccocia to ride in on Higgins' coat tales again and win another Grey Cup like he did in Edmonton.

Wetenhall may not have a choice. Popp apparently has gone "silent", not returning any attempts to contact him. If he's truly upset by how things have gone down, is he upset enough that he would resign from the Als? If he does, would it then be unreasonable to think Higgins takes on both roles?

I'm sure this is not unexpected by the organization. He made some very serious errors. Playing chicken with an owner who's ALWAYS given him what he wanted was not very smart, I still can't believe he turned down a contract that would have paid him over 2 million over four years while allowing him to live in North Carolina. I like Jim but he created his own problem. Think Hopson would pay him half a million a year and tell him he can run the show from NC and come to town once in a while at his whim? Doubt it.

Google translate :cowboy: .

Noticed it afterward, had a good laugh though and I believe instead of CEO it's supposed to mean taking over as GM, oh well.

What a bunch of BS... Between Hawkins, Popp and now Higgins, these three Americans are earning 1.5 million plus. Maybe as high as 2 million dollars... Yet the players get nothing? The highest paid Canadian player gets 215K?... Are you kidding me!! I hope the players put the owners on their knees.. You have Cohon going on about remaining prudent while CFL owners are blowing their brains out on failed American coaches... I wouldn't mind seeing a work stoppage if it meant there would be a coaches and management salary cap that had a ratio to encourage the hiring of Canadian coaches.. this is suppose to be the CFL after all

Really??? Higgins has spent most of his football life in Canada, playing, coaching and managing the Canadian game. He isn't exactly a recent, airlifted-in, coach import from the USA that doesn't know our game.

That said, an overall salary-cap that includes a player and coach/management component covering all personnel involved in the on-field product wouldn't be a bad idea. As for a ratio on coaches, given that unlike Canadian players that come from US and Canadian colleges, the coaching ranks are almost 100% from the very limited CIS pool. With that in mind, I would include American CFL players that join the coaching ranks as non-imports (which, makes Higgins a non-import).

Please, let's not have another thread taken completely off-topic by Mr. Bungle.

The interesting question now is who becomes OC. The Gazette had reported months ago that a deal was in place to bring Ben Cahoon back in some coaching capacity (whether position coach or coordinator, it wasn't known), but that deal couldn't go through until the HC situation was resolved. Well, now it's resolved. So are we going to see #86 on the sidelines? Is Higgins going to wear both the HC and OC hats until Calvillo gets into coaching?