John Roland "Big John" Huard (born March 9, 1944) is an American business executive and a former gridiron football player and coach. After playing college football at the University of Maine, he played professionally as a linebacker with the Denver Broncos of the American Football League (AFL) from 1967 to 1969, with the New Orleans Saints of the National Football League (NFL) in 1971, with the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League (CFL) in 1973, and with the CFL's Toronto Argonauts from 1973 to 1975. Huard served as the head football coach at the Maine Maritime Academy from 1987 to 1993. He was the head coach of the CFL's Shreveport Pirates in 1994 and the Toronto Argonauts in 2000.
|Born:||March 9, 1944|
|NFL draft||1967 / Round: 5 / Pick 113|
|1971||New Orleans Saints|
Huard played college football at the University of Maine for Black Bears from 1963 to 1966. He was drafted by the Denver Broncos in the fifth round of the 1967 American Football League Draft. He played three seasons for the Broncos before sitting out the 1970 NFL season. In 1971 he returned to the NFL for the New Orleans Saints. After missing all of the 1972 season, Huard signed a five-year contract with the CFL's Montreal Alouettes. He was waived during the 1973 CFL season and claimed by the Toronto Argonauts. He remained in Toronto until his retirement in 1975.
Before the 1984 season he was hired by J. I. Albrecht to coach the Atlantic Schooners expansion franchise. However, the team never played a game and Huard remained at Acadia for one more season before becoming the special teams coach of the Chicago Blitz of the United States Football League (USFL). In 1987, Huard was hired as head football coach of the Maine Maritime Academy. Huard coached the Mariners until 1994 when he was hired by former boss J. I. Albrecht to coach the CFL's expansion Shreveport Pirates. That June he was fired by Pirates President Lonie Glieberman, citing "philosophical differences", and replaced by SMU Athletic Director Forrest Gregg before coaching a single game. Huard and Albrecht later sued the Pirates. Quarterback Billy Joe Tolliver and the City of Shreveport also brought legal action against the team in separate suits. He then served on the coaching staff at Maine's Kents Hill School.
In 2000 he was hired by Albrecht again, this time as head coach of the Toronto Argonauts. His tenure lasted eight games with a record of 1–6–1. He resigned after a 51–4 home loss to the British Columbia Lions.
Huard is now the CEO of Northeast Turf in South Portland, Maine and the northeast representative of FieldTurf. He has donated turf to Acadia University's Raymond Field and University of Maine's Mahaney Dome. He oversaw the installation of FieldTurf at Gillette Stadium during the 2006 NFL season.
Head coaching recordEdit
|Maine Maritime Mariners (New England Football Conference) (1987–1993)|
|1993||Maine Maritime||9–1||7–1||1st||W ECAC Bowl|
|National championship Conference title Conference division title or championship game berth|
|Team||Year||Regular Season||Post Season|
|TOR||2000||1||6||1||.143||4th in East Division||–||–||(fired)|
- National Football Foundation (May 22, 2014). "NFF Proudly Announces Impressive 2014 College Football Hall of Fame Class". FootballFoundation.org. Retrieved May 22, 2014.