The House that Huffer Built: Grandson carries on Chugiak football tradition

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) — To some, it looks like another high school football field. To others, it’s the house that Tom Huffer Sr. built.

From Left to Right: Tom Huffer Sr., Tyler Huffer, and John-Paul Huffer

“It doesn’t say memorial, and that’s the best thing about that thing up there,” Huffer Sr. said with a chuckle, referring to his name on the scoreboard.

Chugiak High School named the school’s field after the 74-year-old coach in 2010 after his efforts to get the Mustangs field turf.

Huffer started the football program at Chugiak High School in 1969, leading the program to two state championships. He would return as an assistant coach in the 1990s, taking part in the 1996 state champion as a member of the coaching staff.

His résumé also includes stints at the college level, coaching for the University of Montana and Linfield College.

While his time in football has been long and storied, he can’t seem to get enough of it in his life, as demonstrated by his daily attendance at Chugiak football practice.

“I kind of wait around to come up to practice,” Huffer Sr. said. “I tell them a few things here and there, yell at the coaches.”

This season is also special for the Huffer family, as their third generation suits up for the Mustangs. His grandson, Tyler Huffer, is a junior running back, and his son John-Paul Huffer is an assistant coach.

The youngest Huffer says after games, there is plenty to talk about when his dad and Grandpa look at film.

“It’s funny because my grandpa played offense so the offensive things he critiques me the most on,” Tyler Huffer said. “But defense, my dad is all over me because he played college ball.”

Tyler is making a name for himself in the world of hockey as well, winning a state championship with Chugiak in 2017.

The Mustang football team will need some of those winning ways to rub off on them as they enter Week four against Wasilla with no wins on the season.

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