CALGARY, AB -- The Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation announced today the appointment of John Hufnagel to the position of president and general manager of the Calgary Stampeders.
Hufnagel has been with the Stampeders since 2008 and served eight years as head coach and general manager before ceding coaching duties to Dave Dickenson at the conclusion of the 2015 season. Hufnagel takes over as president from Gordon Norrie, who moves to the Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation as vice-president of sports properties, sales and marketing. Norrie succeeds Jim Bagshaw who will be retiring following 15 years of service to the organization. In addition, a new position, Stampeders Director of Business Operations, has been created to assist Hufnagel with his business duties.
“We are very pleased to make these announcements today that will have an extremely positive impact on the future growth and development of the Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation,” said CSEC President and Stampeders Chair Ken King. “John’s proven leadership combined with his business savvy allows us the opportunity to make these changes. Changes that will provide an undisrupted continuation of success for the Stampeders while affording us the luxury of increasing Gord’s portfolio to include all of our sports properties. We thank Gord for his commitment and dedication as well as his guidance, for the past three years with the Stampeders and into the future for all our teams in his new position.”
“I look forward to this new challenge and thank the ownership group for the opportunity,” said Hufnagel. “We have an excellent organization from top to bottom and, with the support and efforts of all of these qualified and dedicated people, I am confident this will be a positive move and I look forward to working more closely with the business side of the organization. It’s also reassuring to know that I will be able to rely on the entire CSEC infrastructure for support.”
“I have greatly enjoyed my three years as Stampeders president and thank fans, the staff and players for making this time so gratifying. Together we made significant strides forward in every aspect of the Stampeder organization.” said Norrie. “I look forward to my new role with CSEC and know that the Stampeders are in very capable hands with Huff.”
Hufnagel is a two-time winner of Annis Stukus Trophy as the CFL’s coach of the year and led the Stampeders to Grey Cup victories in 2008 and 2014. He had a 102-41-1 career mark as a head coach and his winning percentage is best among coaches with at least 100 games on the sidelines. The Stampeders reached double digits in victories in each of Hufnagel’s eight seasons at the helm and qualified for the post-season every season.
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 Wally Buono. In this role, Hufnagel helped guide the team to three Grey Cup games, including a championship in 1992. 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. 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 and he spent the 2002 season as quarterbacks coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars. In 2003, Hufnagel was quarterbacks coach for the Super Bowl-champion New England Patriots. The next season, Hufnagel joined the New York Giants, with whom he spent three seasons as offensive coordinator.
Hufnagel returned to the Stampeders on Dec. 3, 2007, when he was introduced as head coach/general manager.
Prior to coaching, Hufnagel was a star quarterback at Penn State University. 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 University.
Gordon D. Norrie was introduced as Stampeders president on Feb. 21, 2013. He joined the team after almost three decades in the newspaper business. He was named publisher of the Calgary Sun in 1999 and went on to head the Winnipeg Sun and the Edmonton Sun newspapers before being transferred back to Calgary in 2008 as the Calgary Sun publisher and Vice President for Sun Media’s Western Canada Operations.
He has voluntarily served on the Dean’s Advisory Council of the Asper School of Business, as a board member of The Better Business Bureau of both Calgary and Winnipeg, Kids Cancer Foundation Ride for a life — Sponsorship Committee and recently as a Director of the Air Force Museum Society of Alberta.
The Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation is a sports and entertainment company based in Calgary, Alberta and operates the Calgary Flames of the National Hockey League, the Calgary Hitmen of the Western Hockey League, the Calgary Roughnecks of the National Lacrosse League, the Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian Football League, the Stockton Heat of the American Hockey League, and the Adirondack Thunder of the East Coast Hockey League. CSEC also manages the Scotiabank Saddledome.