Junior Coffey

Last updated

Junior Coffey
No. 41, 34
Position: Running back
Personal information
Born:(1942-03-21)March 21, 1942
Kyle, Texas
Died:August 30, 2021(2021-08-30) (aged 79)
Auburn, Washington
Height:6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight:215 lb (98 kg)
Career information
High school: Dimmitt (TX)
College: Washington
NFL Draft: 1965  / Round:  7  / Pick: 94
AFL Draft: 1965  / Round:  16  / Pick: 122
Houston Oilers
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Rushing yards:2,037
Rush attempts:535
Rushing TDs:10
Receiving yards:487
Receptions:64
Games played:59
Player stats at NFL.com  ·  PFR

Junior Lee Coffey (March 21, 1942 – August 30, 2021) was an American professional football player who was a running back in the National Football League (NFL) with the Green Bay Packers, Atlanta Falcons, and New York Giants. [1]

Contents

Early years

Born in Kyle, Texas, Coffey (6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)200 lb (91 kg)) with 10.2* speed in the 100 (yards), was one of the leading running backs and defensive linebackers in Texas high school football during the 1960s. [2] [3] As a senior in 1960, he rushed for 1,562 yards in 11 games to lead the Dimmitt Bobcat offense.

In a bi-district playoff game against Olton during the 1960 season, Coffey carried the ball 34 times for 253 yards and scored both Dimmitt touchdowns despite leg cramps as the Bobcats fell 15-12 to Olton.

Coffey became an all-state performer for the Bobcats in football and basketball in the 1960-61 school year. In the 1959-60 season, he became the first black athlete ever to play in a Texas UIL state basketball tournament.

As a junior during the 1959 football season, he led the Dimmitt Bobcat offense with 1294 rushing yards on 165 carries and also led the defense with 185 tackles at linebacker.

College career

The Southwest Conference did not integrate until 1967, so Coffey had to leave the state to play major college football. [4] He attended the University of Washington in Seattle and played under head coach Jim Owens. [1] With the Huskies, Coffey was a three-time all-conference selection and was tabbed Honorable Mention All-American all three seasons. He finished his career as the second-leading ground gainer in school history.

Professional career

Coffey was selected by the Green Bay Packers in the seventh round of the 1965 NFL draft, and he played on the Packers' championship team of 1965. After that season, he was selected in the expansion draft for the Atlanta Falcons in 1966, [5] and played in Atlanta for 2½ seasons, where he averaged 4.0 yards per carry. He missed the entire 1968 season with a knee injury and was traded to the New York Giants midway through the 1969 season, [6] [7] and finished his career there in 1971, compiling career totals of 2,037 rushing yards on 500 carries, 487 receiving yards on 64 receptions and 15 touchdowns.

After football

After the NFL, Coffey eventually became a Thoroughbred racehorse trainer. [4] [8] His colt Raise the Bluff was the favorite going into the 2007 Longacres Mile Handicap at Emerald Downs in Auburn, Washington, but placed second.

Coffey died in Auburn, Washington on August 30, 2021, at the age of 79. [9]

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References

  1. 1 2 Purdy, Shon (October 31, 2015). "Husky legend: Junior Coffey". University of Washington Athletics. Retrieved February 24, 2016.
  2. Orts, Jason (May 5, 2015). "Hall of Fame profile: Junior Coffey blazed trails in Panhandle football". Waco Tribune-Herald. Texas. Retrieved February 24, 2016.
  3. Perry, Jocelyn (September 20, 2013). "Junior Coffey among '63 team honored Saturday". University of Washington Athletics. Archived from the original on March 6, 2016. Retrieved February 24, 2016.
  4. 1 2 Raley, Dan (July 29, 2008). "Racehorse trainer once great runner in own right". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved February 24, 2016.
  5. "Packers' Claridge goes to Atlanta; Coffey, Grimm also picked in draft". Milwaukee Journal. UPI. February 16, 1966. p. 16, part 2.
  6. "Giants obtain Junior Coffey". Pittsburgh Press. UPI. October 29, 1969. p. 80.
  7. "Giants get Coffey from Falcons". St. Petersburg Times. Florida. October 29, 1969. p. 3C.
  8. Chapin, Dwight (February 24, 2002). "Where are they now / Junior Coffey / A different running game /". San Francisco Chronicle. (SF Gate). Retrieved February 24, 2016.
  9. Former NFL RB, college star Junior Coffey dies at 79