Friday Flashback: Huffer Sr. is the godfather of Chugiak football

December 4, 2020

Tom Huffer Sr.

One of the true coaching icons of Alaska high school football, Tom Huffer Sr. built the Chugiak Mustangs into a perennial powerhouse during his 19 years as head coach.

He was there in 1969 when the program got off the ground and he was there in 1984 and 1988 when two of his teams were crowned state champions.

Huffer was a master motivator and straight shooter. His teams played a smashmouth style of football and he got the most out of his players, who would have crashed through a wall for him.

He was named Alaska Coach of the Year in 1979, 1981, 1984 and 1988. He was a nominee for National Coach of the Year in 1985.

In 1981, Huffer won his first Cook Inlet Conference title.

In 1984, his Mustangs beat Lathrop 8-5 for the school’s first state championship.

In 1988, Chugiak used the ‘Heave You Couldn’t Believe’ to deliver a 20-18 victory over Soldotna in Huffer’s final game and cap a perfect 9-0 season.

Facing fourth-and-10 with only 93 seconds left in the game, quarterback Jim Simmons launched a pass that was tipped and somehow caught by fullback Kirby Rollison, who finished off the 30-yard touchdown for the winning score.

In 2005, Huffer was inducted into the Alaska High School Hall of Fame. In 2010, Chugiak renamed its field Tom Huffer Sr. Stadium.

Friday Flashback is an ongoing series created by Alaska Sports Hall of Fame blog editor Van Williams that looks back on great Alaska athletes from the past. To read about other Alaskans featured in this series, click here.