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Former Penn State Quarterback John Hufnagel Inducted To CFL Hall Of Fame

Former Penn State football quarterback and 1972 All-American John Hufnagel was inducted into the Canadian Football League Hall of Fame Thursday.

The Penn State Letterman spent three years as the starting quarterback for several talented Joe Paterno squads. In Hufnagel’s 1972 All-American campaign, he threw for 2,039 passing yards and became the first Penn State quarterback at the time to throw for more than 2,000 yards in a season.

Hufnagel left Happy Valley with a 26-3 record starting under center. Some of his biggest victories include a 30-6 win over Texas in the 1972 Cotton Bowl, and three consecutive wins over Pitt in all three of his starting seasons.

After a 1972 season in which the Nittany Lions finished 10-2 and ranked No. 10 in the AP poll, Hufnagel was taken No. 348 overall by the Denver Broncos in the 1973 NFL Draft. He spent three seasons in Denver and played in just nine games before heading to the CFL.

Hufnagel went on to play 12 seasons in the CFL, as he played quarterback for the Calgary Stampeders, Saskatchewan Roughriders, and Winnipeg Blue Bombers. After a productive playing career in Canada, the Nittany Liom immediately went into coaching in 1987. He eventually became the offensive coordinator for Calgary for six seasons, before heading to the NFL for a few campaigns in 1999.

The Coraopolis, Pennsylvania native spent time as a quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator for several NFL teams, including a year with the New England Patriots in which he helped them win a Super Bowl in 2003.

Hufnagel eventually returned to the CFL in 2008 where he became the head coach for the Calgary Stampeders. He finished an incredible 102-41-1 during his seven-year head coaching career in Calgary, made the playoffs in every season, and won two Grey Cups. In 2016, he moved to his current role as president and general manager for the Stampeders, and helped lead them to yet another Grey Cup in 2018.

Hufnagel was inducted into the “builder” category of the CFL Hall of Fame’s 2020 class. He’s one of six former players and coaches to be inducted in this year’s class.

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About the Author

Will Pegler

Will is a senior majoring in digital and print journalism and is an associate editor for Onward State. He is from Darien, Connecticut and is a lifelong Penn State football fan. He loves a good 80's comedy movie, Peaky Blinders, The Office, and the New York Yankees and Giants. You can catch some of his ridiculous sports takes on his Twitter @gritdude and yell at him on his email [email protected]

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