FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - The New England Patriots announced the hiring of John Hufnagel as their quarterbacks coach today. Combining his 15 years of professional playing experience with his 13 years of coaching experience, Hufnagel brings 28 years of professional quarterbacking experience to the team.
"We're very pleased to have added John to our coaching staff," said Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick. "His experience, his strong knowledge of the passing game and his ability to work with our young and veteran quarterbacks will be a good asset to the team."
Hufnagel joins the Patriots after spending the 2002 season on Tom Coughlin's staff in Jacksonville. He originally entered the NFL ranks in 1999 with the Cleveland Browns and spent two seasons as the quarterbacks coach on Chris Palmer's staff. In 2001, he was hired by Jim Mora as the Indianapolis Colts' quarterbacks coach.
He began his coaching career in the CFL as a player-coach with Saskatchewan Roughriders in 1987. He then served as the Calgary Stampeders offensive coordinator from 1990-96 and coached both Flutie and Garcia to All-CFL seasons. From 1997-98, Hufnagel was the head coach and general manager of the Arena Football League's New Jersey Red Dogs. The Red Dogs posted a 17-11 record in his two seasons as head coach.
He played for the legendary Joe Paterno at Penn State from 1969-72 and led the Nittany Lions to a 21-3 record, including wins in the Cotton Bowl as a junior and the Sugar Bowl as a senior. He set the school's single-season record for passing yards (since broken) and still ranks in the top 10 in every career-passing category.
In 1973, he was drafted by the Denver Broncos in the 14th round of the draft. He played three seasons with the Broncos before launching a 12-year career in the CFL with Calgary (1976-79), Saskatchewan (1980-83, 1987) and Winnepeg (1984-86).