November 21, 2019

John Hufnagel Presented With Hugh Campbell Distinguished Leadership Award

CALGARY, AB - MAY18, 2019: The Calgary Stampeders host Junior Stamps Camp at McMahon Stadium on Saturday morning. (Photo by Angela Burger/Calgary Stampeders)

Calgary Stampeders president and general manager John Hufnagel is the 2019 winner of the Canadian Football League’s Hugh Campbell Distinguished Leadership Award. The announcement was made on Thursday evening at Calgary’s Scotiabank Saddledome as part of the Shaw CFL Awards ceremonies.

Instituted in 2006, the Hugh Campbell Distinguished Leadership Award honours an individual who has demonstrated great leadership and made significant contributions to the CFL.

“To have my name in the same sentence as Hugh Campbell is rewarding enough, but to be honoured by receiving the Hugh Campbell Distinguished Leadership Award is both flattering and amazing,” said Hufnagel. “Hugh had so much success in his career as a player, coach and executive, but what is most outstanding about Hugh is how great a man he is.”

Hufnagel first came to Calgary and the CFL as a player in 1976 and has also served as a coordinator, head coach, general manager and president over a combined 23 years with the Red and White. Including his time with the Saskatchewan Roughriders and Winnipeg Blue Bombers, the Coraopolis, Penn., native has been in the CFL for a total of 32 years.

Hufnagel is a member of Calgary’s executive committee and has been the Stampeders president since 2016. He returned to the Stampeders in 2008, serving eight years as head coach and general manager before ceding coaching duties to Dave Dickenson at the conclusion of the 2015 season.

Hufnagel has served on a number of league committees over the years and is a two-time winner of Annis Stukus Trophy as the CFL’s coach of the year. He led the Stampeders to Grey Cup victories in 2008 and 2014. Hufnagel had a 102-41-1 career mark as a head coach and his winning percentage is best among coaches with at least 100 games on the sidelines.

The Stampeders have reached double digits in victories in each of the 12 seasons since Hufnagel’s return to the organization in 2008 and have accumulated seven first-place finishes in the West Division while qualifying for the post-season every year. Hufnagel has served as GM for three Grey Cup-winning teams.

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 Wally Buono. During Hufnagel’s first seven seasons as a member of the Stampeders coaching staff, the team finished first in the West Division six times.

Prior to coaching, Hufnagel starred as quarterback at Penn State University and 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 beginning a 12-year CFL career with the Stampeders (1976-79), Roughriders (1980-83, 1987) and Blue Bombers (1984-86).