Dan Henning

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Dan Henning
Sport(s) Football
Biographical details
Born (1942-06-21) June 21, 1942 (age 72)
Bronx, New York
Playing career
1964, 1966–1967
William & Mary
San Diego Chargers
Position(s) Quarterback
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
Florida State (assistant)
Virginia Tech (assistant)
Houston Oilers (assistant)
Virginia Tech (assistant)
Florida State (assistant)
New York Jets (WR)
Miami Dolphins (QB/WR)
Washington Redskins (OC)
Atlanta Falcons
Washington Redskins (OC)
San Diego Chargers
Detroit Lions (OC)
Boston College
Buffalo Bills (OC)
New York Jets (QB)
New York Jets (OC)
Carolina Panthers (OC)
Miami Dolphins (OC)
Head coaching record
Overall 38–73–1 (NFL)
16–19–1 (college)
Bowls 1–0

Daniel Ernest Henning, (born June 21, 1942) is a former American football player and coach. A quarterback, he played college football at the College of William & Mary and professional football in 1966 for the American Football League's San Diego Chargers. Henning served as the head coach of the NFL's Atlanta Falcons (1983–1986) and San Diego Chargers (1989–1991). He was also the head football coach at Boston College from 1994 to 1996. Henning then returned to the NFL as an offensive coordinator for the Buffalo Bills in 1997. After Hall of Fame coach Marv Levy retired, reportedly partially due to his reluctance to fire Henning, Henning left Buffalo.

Coaching career[edit]

While the head coach of Boston College, Henning discovered a major sports betting scandal among his own players, the second major gambling scandal to affect Boston College athletics in less than 20 years. It had been an open secret that football players were gambling, even though NCAA rules bar any form of gambling by student-athletes. However, after a 45-17 thumping at the hands of Syracuse on October 26, 1996, Henning heard rumors that players were betting against their own team. At a team meeting later that week, Henning asked anyone who was involved in gambling to stand up. No one did so. After the Eagles lost a close game to Pittsburgh a week later--one in which they were 11-point favorites--an irate Henning demanded that anyone involved in gambling come forward. At a players-only meeting two days later, anywhere from 25 to 30 players admitted gambling, but the five that the captains suspected of betting against their own team failed to own up. Henning notified university officials of his suspicions, and they were concerned enough to call in Middlesex County district attorney Thomas Reilly, who launched an investigation.[1]

The resulting inquiry resulted in the suspension of 13 players for the final three games of the season, and eight of them never played another down for the Eagles again. With the effects of the scandal and a 16–19–1 record after three seasons, Henning retired at the end of the 1996 season.[2][3]

Henning had two stints as the offensive coordinator with the Washington Redskins (1981–82, 1987–88). He won two Super Bowl rings during this time.

Most recently, Henning was named offensive coordinator for the Miami Dolphins, throwing wrinkles in the offense which put Ronnie Brown as quarterback leading to a 38–13 win at the New England Patriots.[4] His implementation of the "Wildcat" or single-wing offense was covered heavily by the media, and soon adopted by several other NFL teams in 2008 and 2009.

He was previously the offensive coordinator for the Carolina Panthers from 2002 until January 2007. Henning helped lead his team to the Super Bowl after the 2003 season. After the 2005 season in which the Panthers returned to the NFC Championship game, they were considered Super Bowl contenders in 2006. However, the offense struggled due to injuries and what critics deemed conservative play-calling by Henning, resulting in an 8–8 season and his firing.[5]

His son, Dan, played college football as a quarterback at Maryland under head coach Bobby Ross.[6]

Head coaching record[edit]


Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs Coaches# AP°
Boston College Eagles (Big East Conference) (1994–1996)
1994 Boston College 7–4–1 3–3–1 5th W Aloha 22 23
1995 Boston College 4–8 4–3 T–4th
1996 Boston College 5–7 2–5 6th
Boston College: 16–19–1 9–11–1
Total: 16–19–1
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title
#Rankings from final Coaches Poll.
°Rankings from final AP Poll.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Callahan, Gerry (1996-11-18). "Dark Days at BC". Sports Illustrated. 
  2. ^ Jeff Merron (June 2, 2007). "Biggest Sports Gambling Scandals". ESPN.com. Archived from the original on March 30, 2009. Retrieved January 14, 2009. 
  3. ^ "Boston College continues to sort out mess from gambling scandal". July 25, 1997. 
  4. ^ "Judge: Vick can keep bonus". Associated Press. 2008-02-05. Retrieved 2008-02-10. [dead link]
  5. ^ Mike Cranston (2007). "Panthers fire coordinator Dan Henning". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved 2008-02-09. [dead link]
  6. ^ ROSS' POST WITH BILLS CONTINGENT, The Richmond Times, December 23, 1986.

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Tom Bresnahan
Buffalo Bills Offensive Coordinator
Succeeded by
Joe Pendry
Preceded by
Charlie Weis
New York Jets Offensive Coordinator
Succeeded by
Paul Hackett
Preceded by
Richard Williamson
Carolina Panthers Offensive Coordinator
Succeeded by
Jeff Davidson
Preceded by
Mike Mularkey (2006)
Miami Dolphins Offensive Coordinator
Succeeded by
Brian Daboll