Jim Barker
Toronto Argonauts
2022, Jim Barker.jpg
Barker with the Argonauts in 2022
Born: (1956-08-25) August 25, 1956 (age 66)
Pasadena, California[1]
Career history
As administrator
20052007Calgary Stampeders (GM)
20082009Calgary Stampeders (VP/Dir PP)
20112017Toronto Argonauts (GM)
20192020Hamilton Tiger-Cats (Consultant)
2022–presentToronto Argonauts (Senior advisor)
As coach
1978–1981San Francisco State (AST)
1982–1984Occidental (AST)
1985–1987New Mexico State (AST)
1988Nevada (AST)
1989–1995Pomona-Pitzer (AST)
1996Montreal Alouettes (AST)
19971998Toronto Argonauts (OC/OLC)
1999Toronto Argonauts (HC)
2001Los Angeles Xtreme (OC)
2002Montreal Alouettes (OC/QC)
2003Calgary Stampeders (HC)
20102011Toronto Argonauts (HC)
20192020Hamilton Tiger-Cats (AST)
Career highlights and awards
Honours4x Grey Cup champion – (1997, 2002, 2008, 2012)

James Barker (born August 25, 1956)[1] is a senior advisor for the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League (CFL). Barker has been the general manager of the Calgary Stampeders from 2005-07, and the Argonauts from 2011-2016. He was also the head coach of the Argonauts in 1999, with the Stampeders in 2003, and then again with the Argos in 2010-11. He has also been a sports analyst for the CFL on TSN. Barker has also served as a football operations consultant and assistant coach for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. He is a four-time Grey Cup champion having won twice as an assistant coach and twice as a football administrator.

Coaching and executive career

College football

Barker served as an assistant college football coach at San Francisco State (1978–81), Occidental (1982–84),[2] New Mexico State (1985–87), Nevada (1988) and Pomona-Pitzer (1989–95). Barker also served as Pomona-Pitzer's head baseball coach concurrent to his work as the Sagehens' offensive coordinator.


Barker's CFL coaching career began in 1996 as a member of the Montreal Alouettes coaching staff. The Alouettes set a team record for wins, but lost in the Eastern Division Finals to the Toronto Argonauts. In 1997, he was named the Argonauts' Co-Offensive Coordinator and offensive line coach and was instrumental[according to whom?] in guiding one of the best offences in CFL history. In 1999 he replaced the departing Don Matthews as head coach of the Argonauts, becoming the youngest head coach in the CFL.


In 2000, he moved back to the United States and was the offensive coordinator of the Los Angeles Xtreme who went on to win the XFL Championship. His work with quarterback Tommy Maddox is well recognized[by whom?] as Maddox went on to win the XFL Player of the Year award and later was named NFL Comeback Player of the Year with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Return to the CFL

In 2002, Barker was hired to serve as an in-studio analyst on the America One's CFL telecasts,[3] but instead joined old boss Don Matthews as offensive coordinator and quarterback coach of the Montreal Alouettes, leading them to their first Grey Cup in over 20 years. Quarterback Anthony Calvillo enjoyed his finest season as a pro and was the Terry Evanshen Trophy winner as Eastern Division Player of the Year.

He moved to Calgary in 2003 where he served as the head coach of the Calgary Stampeders. He was fired after a 5–13 season and was replaced by Matt Dunigan.

Barker rejoined the Stampeders in 2005 as general manager. He acquired Henry Burris, Jeremaine Copeland, Rahim Abdullah, and Sandro DeAngelis and played a role in the 2005 CFL Draft, selecting players such as John Comiskey, Brett Ralph, and first overall pick Miguel Robede. These changes helped turn the Stampeders' record from 4–14 to 11–7. In 2006, the Stampeders finished 10–8 and lost to the Saskatchewan Roughriders in the Division Semifinals, 30–21. Barker was replaced as general manager by John Hufnagel after the 2007 season. He was reassigned to the position of Senior Vice-President of Football Operations and director of player personnel.

On February 9, 2010, Barker returned to the Toronto Argonauts for his second stint as their head coach. After leading the Argos to the playoffs for the first time since 2007, Barker assumed the role of general manager on December 15, 2010, replacing Adam Rita, whose contract was not renewed.[4]

The CFL announced on February 25, 2011, that Barker was the Coach of the Year for 2010, winning the Annis Stukus Trophy. Prior to the 2012 CFL season, Barker made a trade that brought All-Star quarterback Ricky Ray from the Edmonton Eskimos to Toronto to help an offense that had struggled for some time. That move, and others, helped the Argonauts win the league's 100th Grey Cup at Rogers Centre.

After six seasons as the general manager of the Argonauts and compiling a 49–59 record in that time span, Barker was fired on January 24, 2017.[5] Barker spent the 2018 season as a TV analyst on TSN.

On January 3, 2019, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats announced Barker would join the team as a football operations consultant.[6] Following the departure of June Jones just prior to 2019 training camp, Barker also added the title of offensive assistant for the 2019 season.[7] For the 2020 season, he was also named a special teams assistant coach.[8] However, the 2020 CFL season was cancelled and Barker was not retained for the 2021 season.[9]

Barker re-joined the CFL on TSN broadcasts as an analyst for the 2021 CFL season.[10] Following the 2021 season, on March 4, 2022, Barker agreed to re-join the Toronto Argonauts as a senior advisor.[11]

CFL GM record

Team Year Regular season Postseason
Won Lost Ties Win % Finish Won Lost Result
CGY 2005 11 7 0 .611 2nd in West Division 0 1 Lost in West Semi-Final
CGY 2006 10 8 0 .555 2nd in West Division 0 1 Lost in West Semi-Final
CGY 2007 7 10 1 .411 3rd in West Division 0 1 Lost in West Semi-Final
TOR 2011 6 12 0 .333 4th in East Division Missed Playoffs
TOR 2012 9 9 0 .500 2nd in East Division 3 0 Won Grey Cup
TOR 2013 11 7 0 .611 1st in East Division 0 1 Lost in East Final
TOR 2014 8 10 0 .444 4th in East Division - - Missed Playoffs
TOR 2015 10 8 0 .556 3rd in East Division 0 1 Lost in East Semi-Final
TOR 2016 5 13 0 .444 4th in East Division - - Missed Playoffs
Total 77 84 1 .478 1 Division
3 5 1 Grey Cup

CFL coaching record

Team Year Regular season Postseason
Won Lost Ties Win % Finish Won Lost Result
TOR 1999 9 9 0 .500 3rd in East Division 0 1 Lost in East Semi-Final
CGY 2003 5 13 0 .278 5th in West Division Missed Playoffs
TOR 2010 9 9 0 .500 3rd in East Division 1 1 Lost in East Final
TOR 2011 6 12 0 .333 4th in East Division Missed Playoffs
Total 29 43 0 .403 0 Division
1 2 0 Grey Cups


  1. ^ a b Harrison, Doug (February 9, 2010). "Barker returns to coaching with Argonauts – Toronto – CBC News". Canada: CBC. Retrieved March 22, 2011.
  2. ^ "Home of the Tigers – Occidental College". OxyAthletics.com. Retrieved March 22, 2011.
  3. ^ "CFL hits American airwaves". Canada: CBC. November 9, 2001. Retrieved March 22, 2011.
  4. ^ "Argos' coach Barker adds general manager role; Rita out". Tsn.ca. December 15, 2010. Retrieved March 22, 2011.
  5. ^ "Argos part ways with GM Jim Barker". CFL.ca. January 24, 2017. Retrieved August 4, 2017.
  6. ^ "Ticats announce football operations staff for 2019". January 3, 2019.
  7. ^ "Steve Milton: From sideline controversy to sideline coach". The Hamilton Spectator. September 6, 2019.
  8. ^ "Tiger-Cats announce 2020 coaching staff". Hamilton Tiger-Cats. February 6, 2020.
  9. ^ "Tiger-Cats announce 2021 coaching staff". Hamilton Tiger-Cats. January 1, 2021.
  10. ^ "Rise With Us: Canada Returns to the Gridiron as the 2021 CFL ON TSN Season Kicks Off August 5". Bell Media. January 1, 2021.
  11. ^ "Argos hire four-time Grey Cup Champion Jim Barker and promote Magri and Russell". Toronto Argonauts. March 4, 2022. Retrieved March 6, 2022.