John Huarte

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John Huarte
Date of birth: (1944-04-06) April 6, 1944 (age 70)
Place of birth: Anaheim, California
Career information
Position(s): Quarterback
Uniform number: 7
College: Notre Dame
AFL Draft: 1965 / Round: 2 / Pick: 12
(By the New York Jets)
NFL Draft: 1965 / Round: 6 / Pick: 76
(By the Philadelphia Eagles)
As player:
AFL New York Jets
AFL Boston Patriots
NFL Philadelphia Eagles
NFL Kansas City Chiefs
NFL Chicago Bears
WFL Memphis Southmen
Career highlights and awards
Career stats
AFL-NFL Yards 230
AFL-NFL QB Rating 22.4
Playing stats at

John Gregory Huarte (born April 6, 1944) CEO and Owner of Arizona Tile, former American football quarterback and the 1964 Heisman Trophy winner.

Early years[edit]

Born and raised in Orange County in southern California, Huarte's father Joseph was a former minor league baseball player of Basque descent.[1][2] The family ran an orange and avocado ranch and he graduated from Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana in 1961.[1]


Huarte is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame. While attending the university, he played college football for the Fighting Irish. During his sophomore and junior seasons, he averaged only a few minutes per game due to injuries and the Irish went 5-5 and 2-7, respectively. As a senior, while establishing himself as the starting quarterback in the spring of 1964, Huarte suffered an injury that jeopardized his football future. He was able to overcome this physical setback and he became the starting quarterback.

In the 1964 opener at Wisconsin, Huarte passed for 270 yards, highlighted by 61- and 42-yard scoring tosses. The Irish won all but one game during the 1964 season. Notre Dame finished third in the 1964 Associated Press poll, but the team was awarded the MacArthur Bowl (emblematic of a national title) and laid the groundwork for future prosperity.[3]

Huarte was selected as an All-American and won the Heisman Trophy.[1][4] By the end of the season, Huarte threw for 2,062 yards with only 205 passes, an average of over ten yards per pass attempt, many to receiver Jack Snow.[5] Huarte was a member of the College All-Star team in the annual pre-season game against the defending NFL champions at Chicago's Soldier Field. The 1965 game was in early August against the Cleveland Browns and Huarte was named the game's most valuable player.

Pro Football Career[edit]

Huarte was drafted in 1965 by both pro football leagues: he was the twelfth overall selection of the AFL draft and the 76th pick of the NFL draft. He signed with the AFL's New York Jets over the NFL Philadelphia Eagles, but was beaten out for the starting position by fellow-rookie Joe Namath, the first pick of the AFL draft.[1] who had finished eleventh in the Heisman voting as a senior at Alabama. The AFL Jets thus signed both the Heisman Trophy winner and the Alabama star away from the NFL. Huarte was third on the depth chart behind co-starters Namath and Mike Taliaferro and was on the taxi squad. Following the 1965 season, Huarte was traded to the Boston Patriots for Jim Colclough and the draft rights to Wichita State linebacker/center Jim Waskiewicz.[6]

Subsequently Huarte did see action as a back-up quarterback for several other professional teams from 1966-1972.[7][8][9] Out of football in 1973, he played his final two seasons of professional football as the starting quarterback of the Memphis Southmen of the World Football League,[5][10] which folded before the completion of the 1975 season.[11]

Business Career and Family[edit]

John and his wife Eileen started their own business, Arizona Tile, in 1977 which first opened in San Diego. He has been the CEO of more than 1,000 employees as the company has expanded to become the largest importer of granite in North America with the primary product line including tile, marble, and granite countertops. The family business, now led by his sons, has expanded on an international scale into South America, Europe and China.

The father of five and grandfather of beyond twice that number, Huarte is involved with several philanthropic organizations and is a member of the Board of Trustees for St. John's Health Foundation in Santa Monica, California. Huarte is a member of The Pigskin Club Of Washington, D.C. National Intercollegiate All-American Football Players Honor Roll. In 2005 he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame

The Heisman Trophy win in 1964 represented only one year of football. Since then, Huarte has lived a Heisman-like life.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Boyle, Robert H. (July 19, 1965). "Show-biz Sonny and his quest for stars". Sports Illustrated: 66. 
  2. ^ "Joseph Huarte". Baseball Reference. Retrieved April 26, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Notre Dame Football- Golden Anniversary, September 9, 2014"
  4. ^ "Huarte wins Heisman Trophy". Miami News. Associated Press. November 24, 1964. p. 2B. 
  5. ^ a b Vecsey, George (November 28, 1983). "Huarte: Most unheralded Heisman winner". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. (New York Times News Service). p. 16. 
  6. ^ "Patriots land John Huarte". Spokane Daily Chronicle. Associated Press. December 20, 1965. p. 15. 
  7. ^ "Huarte makes another stop". Tuscaloosa News. Associated Press. November 8, 1967. p. 7. 
  8. ^ "Huarte, Flores put on Chiefs' roster". Toledo Blade. Associated Press. October 4, 1969. p. 21. 
  9. ^ "Huarte to beef up Bears' roster". Wilmington (NC) Star-News. UPI. September 15, 1972. p. 3C. 
  10. ^ "Huarte sparks Memphis win". Ocala Star-Banner. Associated Press. July 19, 1974. p. 3B. 
  11. ^ "Troubled World Football League finally makes decision to fold". Florence (AL) Times. Associated Press. October 23, 1975. p. 17. 
  12. ^ "John Huarte". Our Executive Team. Arizona Tile. Retrieved October 29, 2012. 
  13. ^ "Heisman winner Huarte finally enters college hall". Wilmington (NC) Star-News. Associated Press. August 11, 2006. p. 8C. 

External links[edit]