Robert Lee "Sam" Huff was an American professional football player who was a linebacker in the National Football League for the New York Giants and the Washington Redskins.
32 Facts About Sam Huff
Sam Huff is a member of both the College Football Hall of Fame and the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
The fourth of six children of Oral and Catherine Sam Huff, he lived with his family in a small rowhouse with no running water.
Sam Huff grew up during the Great Depression while his father and two of his brothers worked in the coal mines loading buggies for Consolidated Mining.
Sam Huff attended and played high school football at the now-closed Farmington High School, where he was both an offensive and defensive lineman.
Sam Huff earned All-State honors in 1952 and was named to the first-team All-Mason Dixon Conference.
Sam Huff attended and played college football for West Virginia University, where he majored in physical education.
Sam Huff started at guard as a sophomore, then as a tackle his next two years, after winning a letter as a backup guard during his freshman season.
Sam Huff was named first team Academic All-American for his outstanding efforts in the classroom.
Sam Huff was drafted in the third round of the 1956 NFL Draft by the New York Giants.
Discouraged, Sam Huff left camp, but was stopped at the airport by assistant coach Vince Lombardi, who coaxed him back to camp.
Sam Huff liked the position because he could keep his head up and use his superb peripheral vision to see the whole field.
On October 7,1956, in a game against the Chicago Cardinals, Beck was injured and Sam Huff was put into his first professional game.
New York went on to win the 1956 NFL Championship Game and Sam Huff became the first rookie middle linebacker to start an NFL championship game.
In 1958, the Giants again won the East and Sam Huff played in the 1958 NFL Championship Game.
Also that year, Sam Huff became the first NFL player to be featured on the cover of Time magazine on November 30,1959.
Sam Huff almost passed up the magazine appearance, demanding money to be interviewed, but relented when Time agreed to give him the cover portrait.
Sam Huff played in four consecutive Pro Bowls with the Giants from 1959 through 1963.
Sam Huff was named most valuable player of the 1961 Pro Bowl.
Sam Huff joined the Redskins in 1964 and they agreed to pay him $30,000 in salary and $5,000 for scouting, compared to the $19,000 he would have made another year with New York.
The impact Sam Huff had was almost immediate and the Redskins' defense was ranked second in the NFL in 1965.
Sam Huff then retired for good after 14 seasons and 30 career interceptions.
Sam Huff spent one season coaching the Redskins' linebackers in 1970 following Lombardi's death from colon cancer.
Sam Huff later joined the Marriott Corporation as a salesman in 1971, rising to vice president of sports marketing before retiring in 1998.
Sam Huff was a broadcaster for a regionally syndicated TV package of Mountaineer football games in the mid-1980s.
In 1982, Sam Huff became the second WVU player to be inducted into both the College and Pro football Halls of Fame.
In 1999, Sam Huff was inducted into the National High School Hall of Fame and was ranked number 76 on the Sporting News list of the 100 Greatest Football Players.
In 2001, Sam Huff was ranked number six on Sports Illustrateds list of West Virginia's 50 Greatest Athletes.
In 1986 Sam Huff began breeding thoroughbred racehorses at Sporting Life Farm in Middleburg, Virginia.
Sam Huff's filly, Bursting Forth, won the 1998 Matchmaker Handicap.
In 1970, Sam Huff ran for a seat in the US House of Representatives, but lost in the West Virginia Democratic primary for the 1st district against Bob Mollohan by more than 19,000 votes.
Sam Huff died at the age of 87 at a hospital in Winchester, Virginia, on November 13,2021.