CFL: Entering 16th season
Stamps: Entering 15th season
In his seventh year as head coach and general manager of the Stampeders, Hufnagel guided the Red and White to a league-best 15-3 record during the regular season and then led the Stamps to the seventh championship in franchise history with wins over the Edmonton Eskimos in the Western Final and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the Grey Cup game.
The regular-season victory total matched the franchise record and the 17 total victories was surpassed in CFL history only by the 18 wins posted by the 1995 Baltimore Stallions, who had the benefit of playing three post-season contests to Calgary’s two.
Hufnagel was named the winner of Annis Stukus Trophy as the CFL’s coach of the year. He had previously won the award and joins Wally Buono (the winner in 1992 and 1993) as the only Stampeders bosses to be voted as coach of the year on multiple occasions.
During the 2014 season, Hufnagel moved past Jim Trimble, George Brancato and Jack Gotta and into 11th place on the CFL’s all-time list for coaching victories. His 88-37-1 mark gives him a career winning percentage of .702, which is best among coaches with at least 100 games on the sidelines.
The Stampeders have reached double digits in victories in each of Hufnagel’s seven seasons at the helm, have qualified for the post-season seven times and have reached the Grey Cup on three occasions including championships in 2008 and 2014. Hufnagel and Buono are the only coaches in franchise history to lead the Stamps to the playoffs in each of their first seven seasons and Hufnagel is one of four men to lead the team to multiple Grey Cup appearances.
The Stamps led the CFL in 2014 with 511 points scored and were second in the league with 347 points allowed. Calgary led the league in rushing offence, took the fewest penalties, committed the fewest turnovers and allowed the fewest sacks.
Hufnagel’s 88 regular-season wins since 2008 are 17 more than any other West team during that seven-year stretch. The Stamps have been first or second in points scored in all seven years and the Stamps have scored more than 500 points in each of Hufnagel’s seven seasons. Under his guidance, the Stampeders have never lost more than two games in a row.
Hufnagel began his coaching career in 1987 with the Saskatchewan Roughriders as a player/coach. In 1990, he joined the Stampeders as offensive coordinator under Buono. In this role, Hufnagel helped guide the team to three Grey Cup games, including a championship in 1992. His innovative offences were explosive under the direction of Doug Flutie, who received the CFL’s Most Outstanding Player award three consecutive years (1992-1994) with the Stamps. Hufnagel also developed Jeff Garcia and enabled him to take over from Flutie in 1996. These high-powered offences produced future Hall of Famers such as Terry Vaughn, Rocco Romano, Allen Pitts, and Flutie, along with players who received numerous league accolades such as Dave Sapunjis and Vince Danielsen. During Hufnagel’s seven seasons with the Stampeders, the team finished first in the West Division six times.
Following his success in the CFL, he went to the Arena Football League as head coach/general manager of the New Jersey Red Dogs. In two seasons, he posted a 17-11 record. Hufnagel joined the Cleveland Browns in 1999 and spent two seasons as the quarterbacks coach. In 2001, he was the quarterbacks coach for the Indianapolis Colts when Peyton Manning completed 62.7 per cent of his passes for 4,131 yards. Hufnagel spent the 2002 season as quarterbacks coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars. That year, Mark Brunell threw just seven interceptions in 416 pass attempts and his 85.7 quarterback rating was his highest in four years.
Hufnagel spent the 2003 season as quarterbacks coach for the Super Bowl-champion New England Patriots. Under his tutelage, Tom Brady completed 60.2 per cent of his passes for 3,620 yards, 23 touchdowns and 12 interceptions and was named the Super Bowl MVP.
The next season, Hufnagel joined the New York Giants, with whom he spent three seasons as offensive coordinator. In 2004, the Giants scored 60 more points than they had the previous season (303-243). Running back Tiki Barber set a franchise record with 1,518 rushing yards and quarterback Eli Manning starting laying a foundation that saw him emerge as the Super Bowl MVP for the 2007 season. In 2005, Barber upped his team record to 1,860 rushing yards and the Giants had the third-highest scoring offence in the NFL.
Hufnagel returned to the Stampeders on Dec. 3, 2007, when he was introduced as head coach/general manager.
Prior to coaching, Hufnagel starred at Penn State University. In his final two seasons as a starter, Hufnagel’s record was 21-3. As a junior, he led the Nittany Lions to a 30-6 Cotton Bowl win over Texas and in his final season took his team to the Sugar Bowl. He also finished sixth in Heisman Trophy voting in 1972.
In 1973, he was a 14th-round draft choice of the Denver Broncos. He spent three seasons with the Broncos before starting a 12-year CFL career with the Calgary Stampeders (1976-79), Saskatchewan Roughriders (1980-83, 1987) and Winnipeg Blue Bombers (1984-86).
Hufnagel earned a Bachelor of Science degree in marketing from Penn State. He has two daughters, Neely and Lindsey, and a son, Cole.
John Hufnagel’s coaching history
2008-14 – Calgary Stampeders (CFL) – Head Coach and General Manager
2004-06 — New York Giants (NFL) — Offensive Coordinator
2003 — New England Patriots (NFL) — Quarterbacks Coach
2002 — Jacksonville Jaguars (NFL) — Quarterbacks Coach
2001 — Indianapolis Colts (NFL) — Quarterbacks Coach
1999-2000 – Cleveland Browns (NFL) — Quarterbacks Coach
1997-98 — New Jersey Red Dogs (Arena Football League) — Head Coach and General Manager
1990-96 — Calgary Stampeders (CFL) — Offensive Coordinator
1987 — Saskatchewan Roughriders (CFL) — Player/Coach
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