08/21/2015 19:30 EDT | Updated 08/21/2016 01:12 EDT

Alouettes fire Tom Higgins, Jim Popp to take over as head coach

MONTREAL — The Montreal Alouettes are going back to a familiar face on the sidelines.

Montreal owner Bob Wetenhall announced on Friday that he has relieved Tom Higgins as head coach. Higgins will be replaced by current general manager Jim Popp, who has served as the Alouettes' coach before — including in 2013 prior to the organization hiring Higgins.   

"General manager Jim Popp will take over the duties of head coach at this time," said Wetenhall. "Our management and I have full confidence in Jim, as do our players.

"We have made this change as we believe it is in the best interest of our team, and especially our fans. We all wish to express to Tom our affection and respect, as well as our appreciation for the contributions he has made to the franchise."

Montreal is last in the CFL East Division with a 3-5 record. The club had dropped three straight outings before beating the B.C. Lions 23-13 on Thursday to open Week 9 of the CFL season.

Higgins, who was hired at the beginning of the 2014 season, went 12-14 with the Als after a 9-9 season last year.

This will be Popp's fourth stint as Montreal's head coach since 2001.

The Canadian Press