John Hadl
No. 21     
Personal information
Date of birth: (1940-02-15) February 15, 1940 (age 79)
Place of birth: Lawrence, Kansas
Height: 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m) Weight: 214 lb (97 kg)
Career information
College: Kansas
NFL Draft: 1962 / Round: 3 / Pick: 24
Debuted in 1962 for the San Diego Chargers
Last played in 1977 for the Houston Oilers
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of 1977
Pass attempts     4,687
Pass completions     2,363
Percentage     50.4
TD-INT     244-268
Passing Yards     33,503
QB Rating     67.4
Stats at
College Football Hall of Fame

John Willard Hadl (born February 15, 1940) is a former collegiate and professional football player.

Hadl was born in Lawrence, Kansas. After playing halfback on both offense and defense at the University of Kansas as a sophomore, Hadl played quarterback for his last two years at Kansas, and was selected as the school's Player of the Century. He was an All American at running back in 1960 and at quarterback in 1961. He was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1994.

College footballEdit

Hadl was the first KU player to be picked twice for All-America (1960 and 1961) honors for his skills as a quarterback and halfback. Hadl also excelled as a defensive back, and punt returner and punter; he led the country with a 45.6-yard punting average in 1959. Hadl's No. 21 jersey is one of only three KU has retired. Hadl, who was picked for the all-conference team for three seasons, wound up with 1,281 yards passing and 1,016 yard rushing. Hadl still holds two KU records: Longest interception return, a 98-yard run against TCU; and longest punt, 94 yards vs. Oklahoma.

With Hadl running the offense, the Jayhawks were ranked in the top 20 during his junior and senior years, finishing 15-5-2. He wrapped up his KU career leading his team to a 33-7 win over Rice University in the Bluebonnet Bowl. He was also named MVP in the East-West Shrine game and the College All-Star Game.

Playing careerEdit

He played at 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m) and 210 lb (95 kg). He joined the American Football League's San Diego Chargers in 1962. He shared quarterbacking duties until 1966, when he became San Diego's starting quarterback, and averaged over 3,000 yards and 23 touchdowns per (14-game) season for the next four years.

He was the American Football League's leading passer in both 1965 and 1968, and was a four-time AFL All-Star. In 1969, he was selected as the AFL All-Star Game's Most Valuable Player. The other half of the Chargers' potent passing/receiving tandem was Lance Alworth, the first American Football League player to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Many observers believe that Hadl, who threw most of the passes that Alworth received, also belongs in the Hall.

Before the 1973 season, Hadl was traded to the Los Angeles Rams for defensive end Coy Bacon and running back Bob Thomas. Leading the Rams to the playoffs that year, he was named the National Football Conference Player of the Year. Hadl was traded to the Green Bay Packers the next season when he was beaten out for the starting quarterback position by James Harris.

Hadl finished with a starting record of 82-76-9 in his professional career. He holds the NFL record for the most tied games (9) by a starting quarterback.

Hadl wore #21 for all of his NFL career, and was the last regular starting quarterback to wear a uniform number greater than #19 before the NFL adopted a rigid uniform numbering system in 1973.

Coaching careerEdit

Hadl was also head coach of the Los Angeles Express football team of the USFL during 1984 and 1985, compiling a record of 13-23 in the regular season, 1-1 in the postseason.

Hadl is currently an associate athletic director in the University of Kansas athletic department, despite the belief that he might have been the "unnamed assistant football coach" at KU who provided improper benefits to recruits in the early 1980s in violation of NCAA regulations. Hadl has consistently denied any wrongdoing, and his current tenure with Kansas athletics has not yielded any suggestion of rules violations.[1][2]

See alsoEdit

References Edit

External linksEdit

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Merlin Olsen
Rams Most Valuable Player Award
Succeeded by
Lawrence McCutcheon