Stuhldreher was born in Massillon, Ohio, home of the Massillon Tigers professional football team. There is a story, likely apocryphal, that as a boy Stuhldreher carried gear for future University of Notre Dame football coach Knute Rockne when the latter was a Tigers star.
Stuhldreher turned to college coaching, initially also moonlighting for independent pro teams on weekends. He served for 11 years (1925–1935) as head coach at Villanova University, compiling a 65–25–9 record, and 13 years (1936–1948) as head coach and athletic director at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. During his tenure at Wisconsin, he compiled a 45–62–6 (.425) record, and the Badgers were twice the Big Ten Conference runner-up under his guidance.
Stuhldreher wrote two books, "Quarterback Play" and "Knute Rockne, Man Builder." The latter was a source for the movie Knute Rockne, All American, starring Ronald Reagan as George Gipp. Stuhldreher's wife Mary was also a writer. The couple had four sons.