Head coach Tom Coughlin completed his offensive coaching staff by hiring John Hufnagel as the Jaguars quarterback coach, and that probably means Coughlin will resume his duties as the team's offensive coordinator and play-caller next season.
Coughlin served as the team's offensive coordinator in 1999 and 2000, before promoting Bob Petrino to the top spot on offense for last season. With the hiring of Hufnagel, who has worked with Tim Couch in Cleveland and with Peyton Manning in Indianapolis in recent seasons, Coughlin is likely to take on the dual role, again.
Hufnagel enters his 30th season in pro football. He has coached in the NFL, the Canadian Football League and the Arena Football League, in addition to playing in the NFL and CFL following his playing days as a star quarterback at Penn State. He was highly recommended to the Jaguars by former Indianapolis Colts head coach Jim Mora and current Colts offensive coordinator Tom Moore.
"John Hufnagel is a welcome addition to our staff because he brings a wealth of experience from a variety of situations," Coughlin said. "He is an innovator and a very good teacher of fundamentals, with foot work and body position being most important in his teaching progression. John is familiar with our system and he will have valuable input in our game plans and will do an excellent job teaching and coaching our quarterback position. He has an outstanding resume and comes with excellent recommendations."
Manning was the fourth-ranked passer in the AFC last season, throwing for an AFC-high 4,131 yards and 26 touchdowns. In 1999 and 2000, Hufnagel was the quarterbacks coach of the Cleveland Browns, where he played a major role in the development of Couch, the top overall choice in the NFL draft.
Prior to becoming an NFL assistant coach, Hufnagel served as head coach and general manager of the Arena Football League's New Jersey Red Dogs in 1997 and '98. In two seasons, his teams posted a 17-11 record in regular-season play and 1-2 in the playoffs. The '97 team scored a league-record 91 points in a single game. His stint in the AFL followed a nine-year coaching career in the CFL. He was an assistant coach with the Saskatchewan Roughriders in 1988, before serving as offensive coordinator of the Calgary Stampeders from 1989-95, when he coached Doug Flutie and Jeff Garcia to All-CFL seasons.
Hufnagel was drafted in the 14th round of the 1973 draft by the Denver Broncos and played there for three seasons. He spent most of his playing career in the CFL, with Calgary (1976-79), Saskatchewan (1980-83, 1987) and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers (1984-86). He was a player-coach in his final year at Saskatchewan.
At Penn State, Hufnagel played under legendary head coach Joe Paterno 1969-72, and quarterbacked the Nittany Lions to a Cotton Bowl win as a junior and to the Sugar Bowl as a senior, with teams that had a combined 21-3 record. His backfield included famed runners Franco Harris, Lydell Mitchell and John Cappelletti.
He was born Sept. 13, 1951, in Pittsburgh. He and his wife, Penny, have three children, daughters Neely and Lindsey and son Cole.