CFL: 14th season
Stamps: 13th season
Hufnagel enters his fifth season as head coach and general manager of the Stampeders and sits in second place on the team’s all-time wins list among coaches.
During the 2011 season, the Stampeders finished with an 11-7 record and earned a berth in the West Division semifinal. Hufnagel went into the 2012 season with 47 regular-season wins, second most in Stampeders coaching history behind only Wally Buono. Hufnagel’s mark of 47-24-1 gave him a winning percentage of .653.
With Calgary’s appearance in the West semifinal, Hufnagel joined Bobby Dobbs and Wally Buono as the only Calgary coaches to have guided the Stampeders to the playoffs in each of their first four seasons at the helm.
In 2010, the Stampeders won the West Division with a 13-5 record and Hufnagel became just the seventh coach in Stampeders history to reach the 30-victory mark. Only Les Lear got to that milestone quicker than Hufnagel, who needed just 44 games.
Calgary posted a 10-7-1 record in 2009, which was tied for the best mark in the West Division. The Stamps were second in the CFL with 514 points scored and Calgary’s 443 points allowed were 41 fewer than the next-stingiest West Division team. The Stamps defeated the Edmonton Eskimos in the West semifinal, which gave the franchise playoff wins in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 1998-99.
In his first season, Hufnagel led the Stamps to the sixth Grey Cup title in franchise history with a 22-14 win over the Alouettes in Montreal. He guided the Stamps to a 13-5 regular-season record and a first-place finish in the West Division before defeating the BC Lions in the West final. After posting a 5-4 record through the first half of the season, the Stamps won 10 of their last 11 games, including the last six in a row. In doing so, the Stamps earned their first West Division title since 2000, won their first playoff game since 2001 and their first Grey Cup since 2001.
For his work in 2008, Hufnagel became the fifth Stampeders head coach to win the Annis Stukus Trophy as the CFL’s coach of the year. He joins a group that includes Jerry Williams (1967), Jack Gotta (1978), Wally Buono (1992 and 1993) and Tom Higgins (2005).
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 under Joe Paterno. 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 and his wife, Penny, have two daughters, Neely and Lindsey, and a son, Cole.