hadl john
John Hadl

  • All-state halfback at Lawrence High School
  • Led the NCAA in punting as a sophomore at KU
  • Set KU school records for longest interception return and the longest punt in a game
  • Played 18 years in the NFL
Hadl, John
Inducted 1976

Born: February 15, 1940 - Lawrence, Kansas

Graduated: Lawrence (KS) H.S., 1958; University of Kansas, 1962


One of the best all-around players ever to play college football and one of the greatest quarterbacks to play in the National Football League, John Hadl was a three–time All–Big Eight selection and the first two–time first team All–American in football (halfback in 1960 and quarterback in 1961) at the University of Kansas.

Hadl in High School

At Lawrence High School, he was an all–state halfback for the Lions’ football team and center fielder for the baseball team.

Jayhawk Highlights

Hadl led the NCAA in punting as a sophomore in 1959 and was the first player ever to be named the Most Valuable player of both the East–West Shrine game (1961) and College All–Star Game (1962).  Hadl set KU school records for longest interception return (98 yards) and the longest punt (94 yards) in a game.

Professional & Post-Professional Career

He played 18 years in the National Football League with the San Diego Chargers, Los Angeles Rams, Green Bay Packers and Houston Oilers and was named the NFL man of the year in 1971 and Most Valuable Player in 1973.  He was an assistant coach for the Kansas football program from 1979–81 and 1988–1990 and served the university’s athletic department in several areas.


Hadl was one of the first football players at Kansas to have his number (21) retired.  He was also inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1994 and the University of Kansas Athletic Hall of Fame.