John Hufnagel - Quarterback - 1976-1987 - Penn State
John Hufnagel was an All American at Penn State, he graduated in 1972 after leading the Nittany Lions to the 1973 Sugar Bowl. Hufnagel finished 6th in Heisman voting and was a 14th round draft pick of the Denver Broncos. After 3 uneventful seasons in Denver John signed with Calgary for the final 7 games of the 1976 season. John was the Stampeders primary quarterback in 1977 as the team went through a rebuilding phase finishing the year at 4-12.
In 1978 Calgary improved to 9-4-3 good for 2nd place in the West John had a solid season with 13 touchdown passes Calgary defeated Winnipeg 38-4 in the Western Semi-Final but would fall to the eventual Grey Cup champion Edmonton Eskimos 26-13 in the Western Final. Hufnagel played sparingly in 1979 with Calgary and joined Saskatchewan as a free agent in 1980.
John spent 4 seasons with Saskatchewan. He was the clubs starter in 1981 and had a fnie season with 21 touchdown passes. The Roughriders would finish 9-7 and just miss the playoffs in '81. In 1982-83 Hufnagel split quarterbacking duties with Joe '747' Adams. The dependable Hufnagel offset the flashy Adams.
In 1983, Hufnagel was traded to Winnipeg he spent most of his time with Winnipeg as the clubs back-up quarterback. In 1986 injuries to starter Tom Clements meant Hufnagel would see the most playing time of his career he threw for a career high 3,394 yards and 21
touchdowns. The Blue Bombers would finish a respectable 11-7 on the year but lost to British Columbia in the Western Semi-final 21-14.
With the Montreal franchise folding just prior to the 1987 season and Winnipeg joining the Eastern division John stayed in the West and joined Saskatchewan in the Competitive Balance Plan. Hufnagel would serve as a player coach and saw limited action on the field. John served as an assistant coach with Saskatchewan before moving on to Calgary in 1990 as offensive coordinator.
From 1990-1996 with Calgary John coached legendary QB's Doug Flutie and Jeff Garcia. Garcia to this day credits Hufnagel with a great deal of the success the San Jose product has experienced as a professional. John developed elaborate receiver packages that took advantage of the quarterback's talents and the wide Canadian field.
John left the Canadian Football League in 1997 to become a head coach in Arena Football. From there John went to the NFL as a quarterbacks coach with the Cleveland
Browns and then with the Indianapolis Colts mentoring Peyton Manning. In 2003 John was with New England and helped Tom Brady and the Patriots to a Super Bowl championship. In 2004, Hufnagel was named the Offensive Coordinator for the New York Giants he would be with the Giants until 2006.
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