"Linebackers; born July 19, 1953, Annadale, Va. Defensive lineman William & Mary 1972-74. No pro playing experience. College coach: Ohio State 1975-76, Cincinnati 1977-1980, Holy Cross 1981-1991 (head coach 1986-1991), Maryland 1992-1996 (head coach). Pro coach: Cincinnati Bengals 1997-2002, Green Bay Packers 2003-2005, joined Jaguars in 2006."
His first coaching Job at Ohio State in '75 was under the legendary Woody Hayes, a man who Duffner credits with having a drastic impact upon his life.
“It was the most unbelievable experience of my life. He was just an unbelievable person, highly educated and tremendous energy and work ethic,” Duffner said. “He had people skills like I’ve never seen ... it was a phenomenal experience for me.”
Duffner is a no-nonsense type of coach whom is clearly defensive minded. Below is a list of his record at Maryland from 1992 to 1996, which speaks volumes to this point.
Hmmm... anything jump right out at you? The points allowed dropped significantly over the duration of his tenure... Clearly a more effective defensive teacher than an offensive one.
Duffner is highly lauded by those he's worked with and even some sports media writers have given him positive marks. Below are three seperate excerpts all involving high praise for Duffner.
"Duffner (linebackers), Hamilton (defensive line), and Campo (secondary) are responsible for installing the game plan and making sure that what Smith calls is executed. Jacksonville's game plan for the Chiefs should be framed, and these three men deserve credit for limiting Larry Johnson to 12 yards rushing and holding the Chiefs to a total of 10 yards on the ground. Duffner and Hamilton coach the front seven and their group forced a one-dimensional pass attack."
4. Mark Duffner:
"Linebacker coach, Jacksonville
"Duf" is considered an exceptional teacher and has done a very good job of getting the Jaguar linebackers ready to go in the playoffs without their star middle linebacker, Mike Peterson. A new middle backer, a new signal caller and a road game against the Steelers -- that's a lot to get ready for. The Steelers averaged 1.7 yards per rush, and Ben Roethlisberger struggled all night. Coach Duffner got rookie Justin Durant ready and he looks like a star in the making. Durant (12 tackles), Clint Ingram (6), and Derek Smith (6) had 24 tackles, and two passes defended."
And this one from Jan 2000 praises Duffner and notes that the Bengals refused to allow Duffner to shop himself to the GB packers. Which points to his ability even eight years ago.
"ALMOST GONE: The team wants to keep its core unit together and that goes for the coaching staff as well. That's why G.M. Mike Brown refused linebackers coach Mark Duffner permission to interview with the Packers for the same job. Keeping Duffner is vital for the development of fast-improving young LBs Takeo Spikes and Brian Simmons...."
One thing I really like about Duffner is the quality of his character... something most Jaguars coaches and players have in common.
"As coach from 1992-96, Duffner disciplined or suspended at least four players for their involvement in dormitory theft and credit card fraud cases. Four football players received suspensions for gambling on college sports."
I like seeing a stat like this because even though Duffner took over a program in disarray in 1992 he still didn't "sell-out" and stuck to his values... demanding the same from his players.
“I’ve been really fortunate to have been raised Catholic and I work as hard as I can to live within the values of the Catholic Church. To coach football and have all experiences that I’ve had has been a real blessing,” Duffner said"
All-around a great individual.