Napoleon Kaufman

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Napoleon Kaufman
No. 26
Running back
Personal information
Date of birth: (1973-06-07) June 7, 1973 (age 41)
Place of birth: Kansas City, Missouri
Height: 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m) Weight: 185 lb (84 kg)
Career information
High school: Lompoc (CA)
College: Washington
NFL Draft: 1995 / Round: 1 / Pick: 18
Debuted in 1995 for the Oakland Raiders
Last played in 2000 for the Oakland Raiders
Career history
Career highlights and awards
  • Led NFL in Yards Per Rushing Attempt in 1996 with 5.8
  • USA Today High School All-American (1990)
Career NFL statistics
Rushing yards 4,792
Average 4.9
Touchdowns 12
Stats at

Napoleon "Nip" Kaufman (born June 7, 1973) is a former American football player and currently an ordained minister and head football coach at Bishop O'Dowd high school in Oakland, California. He is a former NFL running back, playing for the Oakland Raiders for the entirety of his professional football career.

Kaufman was born in Kansas City, Missouri and grew up in Lompoc, California which is located 55 miles west-northwest of Santa Barbara. He was one of the greatest high school running backs in California prep history at Lompoc High School. As a 135 pound sophomore in 1988, he rushed for 1,008 yards in leading Lompoc to the Southern Section divisional semifinals. As a junior in 1989, he had an even better season. Kaufman was named to the Southern Section All-CIF and All-State first team, compiling 2,954 all purpose yards and 39 touchdowns, averaging a remarkable 70 yards on kickoff returns. As a senior in 1990, at 5-9, 170, with 4.3 speed in 40 yards, he was named the Cal Hi Sports' California high school football player of the year. Despite injuries, Kaufman rushed for 1,960 yards and 28 touchdowns leading his team to a 13-1 record and a CIF championship. He was also named to the USA Today first team All-American team. In his high school career, he rushed for 5,151 yards and 86 TDs. Kaufman chose the University of Washington over USC, Colorado, and Arizona.

Kaufman was also an exceptional track athlete. As a junior, Kaufman was the CIF California State Champion in both 100 (10.57) and 200 meters (21.15) He also was an accomplished long jumper with a personal best of over 24 feet.

In 1991, as a true freshman at Washington, Kaufman returned kicks for the Huskies during the year the team won the national championship. Among his notable collegiate performances was the 1994 "Whammy In Miami" game between the Huskies and the University of Miami at the Orange Bowl, where the Huskies ended Miami's 58-game home winning streak, which dated back to 1985. Kaufman is Washington's all-time leader in rushing yards (4,106),[1] 200-yard games (4), rushing touchdowns (34), and tied with Chris Polk for most rushes for 50+ yards (6). In a game against UCLA in 1994 Kaufman set the school's record for longest non-scoring rush with 79 yards.[2] Along with Polk, he is one of only two Washington running backs to rush for 1,000 yards in three consecutive seasons (1992-94: 1,045, 1,299, and 1,390). He was named to the All-Pac-10 team in 1992, 1993, and 1994. In 1994, he was a second team All-American and is a member of the University of Washington Hall of Fame.

Kaufman was selected with the 18th pick in the 1st round of the 1995 NFL Draft by the Oakland Raiders, where he remained for the entirety of his 6-year NFL career, amassing 4,792 yards rushing[3] on 4.90 yards per carry. As the Raiders' primary running back in 1997 and 1998, he rushed for 1,294 and 921 yards, respectively, and had 65 total receptions during those two seasons. Kaufman split playing time with Tyrone Wheatley in the latter part of his career.

Kaufman retired abruptly at the end of the 2000 NFL season[3] to pursue a career as a Christian minister. Today he is the senior pastor at The Well Christian Community Church in Livermore, California. He has three sons, one daughter and has been married since September 1996. He also coaches a team in the PJFL league. His son Napoleon Kaufman Jr., currently attends Bishop O'Dowd high school in Oakland.


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