Dan Henning
Biographical details
Born (1942-06-21) June 21, 1942 (age 81)
Bronx, New York, U.S.
Playing career
1961–1963William & Mary
1964, 1966–1967San Diego Chargers
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1968–1970Florida State (assistant)
1971Virginia Tech (OC)
1972Houston Oilers (QB)
1973Virginia Tech (OC)
1974Florida State (OC)
1976–1978New York Jets (WR)
1979–1980Miami Dolphins (QB/WR)
1981–1982Washington Redskins (OC)
1983–1986Atlanta Falcons
1987–1988Washington Redskins (OC)
1989–1991San Diego Chargers
1992–1993Detroit Lions (OC)
1994–1996Boston College
1997Buffalo Bills (OC)
1998–1999New York Jets (QB)
2000New York Jets (OC)
2002–2006Carolina Panthers (OC)
2008–2010Miami Dolphins (OC)
Head coaching record
Overall38–73–1 (NFL)
16–19–1 (college)

Daniel Ernest Henning, (born June 21, 1942) is a former American football player and coach. A quarterback, he played college football at the College of William & Mary and professional football in 1966 for the San Diego Chargers of the American Football League (AFL). Henning served as a head coach in the National Football League (NFL) for the Atlanta Falcons (1983–1986) and the Chargers (1989–1991). He was the head football coach at Boston College from 1994 to 1996. Henning then returned to the NFL as an offensive coordinator for the Buffalo Bills in 1997. After Hall of Fame coach Marv Levy retired, reportedly partially due to his reluctance to fire Henning, Henning left Buffalo.

Coaching career

While the head coach of Boston College, Henning discovered a major sports betting scandal among his own players, the second major gambling scandal to affect Boston College athletics in less than 20 years. It had been an open secret that football players were gambling, even though NCAA rules bar any form of gambling by student-athletes. However, after a 45-17 thumping at the hands of Syracuse on October 26, 1996, Henning heard rumors that players were betting against their own team. At a team meeting later that week, Henning asked anyone who was involved in gambling to stand up. No one did so. After the Eagles lost a close game to Pittsburgh a week later—one in which they were 11-point favorites—an irate Henning demanded that anyone involved in gambling come forward. At a players-only meeting two days later, anywhere from 25 to 30 players admitted gambling, but the five that the captains suspected of betting against their own team failed to own up. Henning notified university officials of his suspicions, and they were concerned enough to call in Middlesex County district attorney Thomas Reilly, who launched an investigation.[1]

The resulting inquiry resulted in the suspension of 13 players for the final three games of the season, and eight of them never played another down for the Eagles again. With the effects of the scandal and a 16–19–1 record after three seasons, Henning retired at the end of the 1996 season.[2][3]

Henning had two stints as the offensive coordinator with the Washington Redskins (1981–82, 1987–88). He won two Super Bowl rings during this time.

He was the offensive coordinator for the Carolina Panthers from 2002 until January 2007. Henning helped lead his team to the Super Bowl after the 2003 season. After the 2005 season in which the Panthers returned to the NFC Championship game, they were considered Super Bowl contenders in 2006. However, the offense struggled due to injuries and what critics deemed conservative play-calling by Henning, resulting in an 8–8 season and his firing.[4]

In 2008, Henning was named offensive coordinator for the Miami Dolphins, throwing wrinkles in the offense which put Ronnie Brown as quarterback leading to a 38–13 win at the New England Patriots.[5] His implementation of the "Wildcat" and single-wing offense, which he had previously used in Carolina with DeAngelo Williams, was covered heavily by the media, and soon adopted by several other NFL teams in 2008 and 2009.[6]

Personal life

His son, Dan, played college football as a quarterback at Maryland under head coach Bobby Ross.[7] His brother, John Henning was a long time Boston news reporter.[8]

Head coaching record


Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs Coaches# AP°
Boston College Eagles (Big East Conference) (1994–1996)
1994 Boston College 7–4–1 3–3–1 5th W Aloha 22 23
1995 Boston College 4–8 4–3 T–4th
1996 Boston College 5–7 2–5 6th
Boston College: 16–19–1 9–11–1
Total: 16–19–1


Team Year Regular Season Postseason
Won Lost Ties Win % Finish Won Lost Win % Result
ATL 1983 7 9 0 .438 4th in NFC West
ATL 1984 4 12 0 .250 4th in NFC West
ATL 1985 4 12 0 .250 4th in NFC West
ATL 1986 7 8 1 .469 3rd in NFC West
ATL Total 22 41 1 .352
SD 1989 6 10 0 .375 5th in AFC West
SD 1990 6 10 0 .375 4th in AFC West
SD 1991 4 12 0 .250 5th in AFC West
SD Total 16 32 0 .333
Total 38 73 1 .344

See also


  1. ^ Callahan, Gerry (November 18, 1996). "Dark Days at BC". Sports Illustrated.
  2. ^ Jeff Merron (June 2, 2007). "Biggest Sports Gambling Scandals". ESPN.com. Archived from the original on March 30, 2009. Retrieved January 14, 2009.
  3. ^ "Boston College continues to sort out mess from gambling scandal". July 25, 1997.
  4. ^ Mike Cranston (2007). "Panthers fire coordinator Dan Henning". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved February 9, 2008.[dead link]
  5. ^ "Judge: Vick can keep bonus". Associated Press. February 5, 2008. Archived from the original on February 10, 2008. Retrieved February 10, 2008.
  6. ^ Gantt, Darin (November 22, 2009). "Panthers coach Fox: Father of the Wildcat offense". The State. Retrieved December 25, 2020.
  7. ^ ROSS' POST WITH BILLS CONTINGENT[permanent dead link], The Richmond Times, December 23, 1986.
  8. ^ Fitzgerald, Joe (1994-03-05). "John Henning Tackles the Issues". Boston Herald. p. 45.