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Hafner named new Head Football Coach



Hafner returns to Carl Junction as Head Football Coach


Todd Hafner is returning to Carl Junction to lead the high school football program and serve as the Carl Junction Junior High Athletic Director.


Hafner’s earlier stints at Carl Junction include Assistant Football Coach in 1994 and Head Football Coach for four seasons from 1997 to 2000. 


“I’m so excited to be coming back to Carl Junction,” said Coach Hafner. “I plan to bring a renewed spirit and energy and continue building on the foundation at Carl Junction. We will work on building relationships that encourage kids to be a part of the team, to work hard, to get stronger, and get tougher.” 


Hafner replaces Doug Buckmaster who will retire at the end of this school year.


Hafner recently left William Penn University in Oskaloosa, Iowa, where he was the head football coach for 19 years. Before joining the Statesmen, Hafner served as the Offensive Coordinator and Assistant Head Coach at Emporia State University (KS), focusing on quarterbacks and running backs.


A Frontenac, Kansas native, Hafner went to Pittsburg State University, where he was a backup quarterback for the Gorillas from 1989-1993. During a medical red-shirt year, Hafner served as an assistant student coach for PSU and found his passion for coaching. “I knew then what I wanted to do,” said Hafner. He graduated in 1994 with a Bachelor of Science in secondary education and landed his first teaching and coaching job at Carl Junction High School.


“I am excited to see where Coach Hafner will take our football program,” said Athletic Director Rich Neria. “His experience developing players and building programs at the high school and college level will be an asset for Carl Junction. I’m looking forward to working with Coach Hafner again.”


Coach Hafner will be in town next week to meet with the coaches and players and to start putting the plan in motion for the 2023 season.


“My wife, Mandy, and I are looking forward to being back in Carl Junction. We believe being active in the community is part of building a strong connection for the team,” said Hafner.


Todd and Mandy (Stillwell) have four children. Tyler and his wife, Ashley, live in North Carolina with their daughter, Nora; Emma, Austin, and Ryan will remain in Oskaloosa, attending WPU.


Coach Hafner comes from an education and coaching family. His father, Greg Hafner, had a long career as a football coach. Locally, he coached at Frontenac High School before moving into the principal and superintendent positions in Frontenac. His stepmother, Karen Hafner, was a teacher and coach at Carl Junction High School from 1985-2006, where she was inducted into the Carl Junction Athletic Hall of Fame in 2022. 


Highlights of Coach Hafner’s career include:


  • 2017-2022 - Won 100th game as collegiate head coach in 2019. Overall record (112-93-1)
  • 2016 - Finished the season 7-4 (4-1). Ranked #23 in the NAIA football poll. Conference Champions and Conference Coach of the Year
  • 2013-2015 - Finished back-to-back regular seasons 7-4 and ranked #19 and #23 in the NAIA (2014-15).
  • 2012 - MSFA Mid-West League Champions 5-1 conference record. Conference champions. The team finished the regular season 9-2, competing in the NAIA national playoffs for the first time in 37 years. They ranked #13 in the final regular season poll. Hafner became the winningest coach in William Penn Football History (61).
  • 2011 – The team finished the regular season 9-2, ranked #16 in the final regular season poll, and had a 19-3 record over the last two seasons.
  • 2010 - Led team to first conference championship since 1976 (10-1), and finished 6-1 in the conference, and a final #12 Ranking in NAIA Coaches Poll. Named Conference Coach of the Year by peers. Named AFCA Regional Coach of the Year. Named NAIA National Coach of the Year by the Victory Sports Network. The team was named Team of the Year by Greater Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau.
  • 2008-2009 - Named Conference Coach of the Year in 2008. A back-to-back winning season for the first time since 1975-76. Seven wins each year.
  • 2004-2007 - The rebuild of a decades-long slump in the William Penn Football program began. In 2005, we had the first winning season since 1976. Helped initiate the conversation for a $25M recreation/athletic facility, completed in 2010.
  • 2003 - Defeated First Round NCAA Division II Playoffs at Emporia State University.
  • 2002 Mineral Water Bowl Champions - Emporia State University