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Joe Paopao
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Date of birth June 30, 1955 (1955-06-30) (age 54)
Place of birth United States Honolulu, Hawaii
Position(s) Quarterback
Head coach
College Long Beach State
Team(s) as a player
1978-1983, 1990
BC Lions
Saskatchewan Roughriders
Ottawa Rough Riders
Team(s) as a coach/administrator
Edmonton Eskimos (OC)
BC Lions
Ottawa Renegades

Joe Paopao (b. June 30, 1955 in Honolulu, Hawaii) is a long-time coach in the Canadian Football League, who last served as a head coach in the CFL for the Ottawa Renegades from 2001-2005. (He was named head coach on December 18, 2001 and fired on November 7, 2005). As of August 28, 2006, Paopao was relieved of his duties as offensive coordinator of the struggling Hamilton Tiger-Cats. He’s also famous for the paper airplane incident, in which fans from the Ottawa stands folded plays into the form of paper airplanes and threw thousands of these airplanes onto the field in the hopes that Paopao would read them. Unfortunately, it did not work and Paopao lost the game.

Born in Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S., Paopao began his CFL career as a quarterback for the BC Lions in 1978. He was nicknamed the "Throwin' Samoan" for his great ability to pass, as he led the Lions in passing for the next three seasons and set a CFL record in 1979 for pass completions in a single game. By 1983, he had lost the starting job to Roy Dewalt. In 1984 he signed with the Saskatchewan Roughriders and again led that team in passing. He was traded to the Ottawa Rough Riders in 1987, and the following year to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. That year he was named the offensive backfield coach of the BC Lions, thus beginning his illustrious CFL coaching career. The next year however, he went back to his old position of quarterback for the Lions, backing up Doug Flutie, in his last season.

In 1991, Paopao was made the quarterback coach of the Lions. In 1992 he was made their offensive co-ordinator where he remained until becoming the offensive co-ordinator of the Edmonton Eskimos in 1994. In 1996 Paopao became head coach of the Lions, but later found himself as offensive co-ordinator once again, this time for the Blue Bombers. He went back to the Lions in 1999 and was made assistant head coach. In 2001 he found himself as the offensive co-ordinator of the San Francisco Demons of the XFL. That league only lasted one season, and he was later picked up by the new Renegades franchise in Ottawa. After an unsuccessful season in the nation's capital, Paopao was picked up by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and named offensive co-ordinator. He was later relieved of his duties with the Tiger-Cats on August 28, 2006. A longtime resident of Oceanside, California.

In 2007 and 2008 Paopao was the offensive coordinator for the University of Waterloo Warriors.

He was added to the BC Lions Wall of Fame in 2007. [1]

CFL Coaching Record

Team Year Regular Season Post Season
Won Lost Ties Win % Finish Won Lost Result
BC 1996 5 13 0 .444 5th in West Division - - Missed Playoffs
OTT 2002 4 14 0 .222 4th in East Division - - Missed Playoffs
OTT 2003 7 11 0 .389 3th in East Division - - Missed Playoffs
OTT 2004 5 13 0 .278 4th in East Division - - Missed Playoffs
OTT 2005 7 11 0 .389 3th in East Division - - Missed Playoffs
Preceded by
first coach
Ottawa Renegades Head Coaches
Succeeded by
John Jenkins


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