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John Hufnagel

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John Hufnagel

John Hufnagel
Calgary Stampeders
Position: Head coach
Personal information
Date of birth: (1951-09-13) September 13, 1951
Place of birth: Coraopolis, Pennsylvania
Career information
College: Penn State
NFL draft: 1973 / Round: 14 / Pick: 348
Career history

As Player

As Coach

Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Passing Yards: 357
TouchdownsInterceptions: 1–9
Games: 9
Stats at

John Coleman Hufnagel (born September 13, 1951) is a Canadian football coach and former professional quarterback. He is currently the head coach of the Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian Football League. Prior to his hiring to the Stampeders on December 3, 2007, he was most recently the offensive coordinator of the New York Giants of the National Football League from 2004 until December 26, 2006.

Playing career

Hufnagel was named an All-American at Penn State University in 1972, where he was the starting quarterback for three seasons (1970–1972), earning a 26–3 record. As a junior, he was instrumental in the Nittany Lions' 30–6 Cotton Bowl Classic victory over the University of Texas and played in a 14–0 loss to the University of Oklahoma in the 1973 Sugar Bowl as a senior. In 1972, Hufnagel became the first Nittany Lion quarterback to pass for more than 2,000 yards in a season. His 2,039 passing yards set Penn State’s single-season record for passing yards (since broken) and he remains among the top 10 in most major career passing categories. He finished sixth in the Heisman Trophy voting that year.

Hufnagel was the 14th-round draft choice of the Denver Broncos in the 1973 NFL Draft. There he would play for three seasons before beginning a 12-year career in the Canadian Football League with the Calgary Stampeders (1976–1979), the Saskatchewan Roughriders (1980–1983 and 1987), and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers (1984–1986).

Coaching career

Canadian Football

Hufnagel began his coaching career as a player-coach for the Canadian Football League's Saskatchewan Roughriders in 1987. From 1990–1996 Hufnagel was the offensive coordinator for the Calgary Stampeders, where he helped future Pro Bowlers Doug Flutie and Jeff Garcia earn All-CFL honors.

Arena Football

In 1997, Hufnagel became head coach and general manager of the Arena Football League’s New Jersey Red Dogs. In two seasons there, he posted a 17–11 record.

National Football League

After two seasons (1999, 2000) as the quarterbacks coach for the Cleveland Browns, Hufnagel was named the quarterbacks coach of the Indianapolis Colts, where he coached Peyton Manning to a 62.7 percent completion percentage and for 4,131 yards passing. He spent the 2002 season as the quarterbacks coach on Tom Coughlin’s staff in Jacksonville. That year, quarterback Mark Brunell threw only seven interceptions in 416 pass attempts, and an 85.7 quarterback rating. He spent the 2003 season with the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots. Under Hufnagel’s tutelage, Tom Brady earned a second Super Bowl MVP award, completing 60.2 percent of his passes for 3,620 yards and 23 touchdowns.

Hufnagel became the offensive coordinator of the New York Giants in 2004, and molded them into one of the NFL’s most potent offenses. Tiki Barber set a franchise rushing record two years in a row, and the Giants became only the fifth team in NFL history to have five different players score at least seven touchdowns. (Tiki Barber, Jeremy Shockey, Plaxico Burress, Amani Toomer and Brandon Jacobs). While Hufnagel is credited with the rapid development of quarterback Eli Manning, he is sometimes criticized for his often predictable play-calling and an inability to utilize his offensive play-makers effectively.

During the 2006 season, Hufnagel came under much criticism for being too pass-happy and abandoning the running game after the Giants trailed during games. In addition, he was also questioned for having Manning throw the ball the third and sixth most passes in the league over 2005 and 2006 despite Tiki Barber clearly being the best player on offense. In addition, his situational play-calling came under scrutiny, such as when running back Brandon Jacobs was removed from the game inside the five yard-line in two games, thus making the offense more predictable to opposing defenses.

Following a 30–7 defeat by the New Orleans Saints, Hufnagel was stripped of his duties as offensive coordinator. A week later, it was revealed he was fired.

Return to Canadian Football

On December 3, 2007, Hufnagel was hired as the head coach and general manager of the Calgary Stampeders. He led the Stampeders to the Grey Cup title with a 22–14 victory over the Montreal Alouettes on November 23, 2008. For his performance in the 2008 CFL season, he was awarded the Annis Stukus Trophy as the CFL's coach of the year.[1] Hufnagel got the Stamps back to the Grey Cup game to conclude the 2012 CFL season. The Stampeders lost the 100th Grey Cup game to the Toronto Argonauts 35-22. In the 2013 CFL season, Hufnagel and the Stampeders finished the season in 1st place with a 14-4 record. They lost the Western Final to Saskatchewan.

The following season, Hufnagel led the Stampeders to a 15-3 record finishing 1st in the Western division and in the league. In the playoffs, the Calgary Stampeders faced the Edmonton Eskimos (who previously eliminated Saskatchewan) and defeated them 43-18, leading them to Calgary's second Grey Cup in 3 years. The would face the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the 102nd Grey Cup and win the game 20-16 for Calgary's 7th Grey Cup championship.

Following the Stampeder's championship season of 2014, Hufnagel was awarded the Annis Stukus Trophy as the CFL coach of the year for the second time in his career.


Hufnagel earned a Bachelor of Science in marketing from Penn State University in 1973. He and his wife, Penny, have two daughters and a son and live in Calgary and Jacksonville. He attended Montour High School in McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania.

CFL GM/Coaching Record

Team Year Regular Season Post Season
Won Lost Ties Win % Finish Won Lost Result
CGY 2008 13 5 0 .722 1st in West Division 2 0 Won Grey Cup
CGY 2009 10 7 1 .583 2nd in West Division 1 1 Lost West Final
CGY 2010 13 5 0 .722 1st in West Division 0 1 Lost West Final
CGY 2011 11 7 0 .611 3rd in West Division 0 1 Lost West Semi-Final
CGY 2012 12 6 0 .666 2nd in West Division 2 1 Lost Grey Cup
CGY 2013 14 4 0 .777 1st in West Division 0 1 Lost West Final
CGY 2014 15 3 0 .833 1st in West Division 2 0 Won Grey Cup
Total 88 37 1 .702 4 West Division
7 5 2 Grey Cups


  1. ^

External links

  • John Hufnagel statistics,
  • John Hufnagel's bio,
  • John Hufnagel's pre-game speech prior to the start of the 96th Grey Cup on YouTube
Preceded by
Kent Austin
Grey Cup winning Head Coach
96th Grey Cup, 2008
Succeeded by
Marc Trestman
Preceded by
Kent Austin
CFL Coach of the Year
Succeeded by
Marc Trestman
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