Joe Kapp, NFL and CFL

by Mike Magers

Joe Kapp was a quarterback in the NFL for 4 years after an 11 year career in the Canadian Football League.  His connection to New Mexico is that he was born in Santa Fe, although his family moved to California where he was an outstanding player at the Berkeley campus of the University of California.  His College Football Hall of Fame biography states that he was a first team All-America player, finished fifth in the Heisman Trophy voting in 1958 and led his team to an appearance in the Rose Bowl.  He was team captain of the Bears and was named to the Cal Athletic Hall of Fame.  Kapp was drafted in the 18th round of the NFL draft by the Washington Redskins, but wasn’t signed by the NFL club.  Kapp played in the CFL for the next 11 years before completing his career in the NFL.


Kapp played for the Calgary Stampeders and BC Lions of the CFL and the Minnesota Vikings and Boston Patriots of the NFL.   He’s the only known player to have played in the CFL’s Grey Cup, the NFL’s Super Bowl and the Rose Bowl.  His honors include being named to the Canadian Football Hall of Fame, the British Columbia Hall of Fame, the BC Lions Wall of Fame, the College Football Hall of Fame and the University of California Athletic Hall of Fame.

In the CFL, his statistics include completing 1,476 of 2,709 passes for 22,725 yards and 136 touchdowns against 130 interceptions.  His NFL statistics include starting 48 of his 51 games, completing 448 of 918 passes for 5,911 yards and 40 touchdowns against 64 interceptions.

Following his retirement, he was head coach at his California Berkeley from 1982 to 1986.  He was serving as coach of the California Bears in 1982 in the game against Stanford when the wild last second lateral play occurred and Cal won after scoring through the Stanford band.  He briefly returned to the CFL and served as general manager and president of the BC Lions in 1990.  At this writing, Kapp is now retired and living in California.



2 thoughts on “Joe Kapp, NFL and CFL

  1. Joe was a good neighbor when I was in high school, we would play hoops in my driveway, we went to the same high school. I have lost out in making contact with him. I have not seen or talked with him sence he left school for collage. Could u say hi for me (please) Maurice Brown,


    • I believe that he now lives in California, Maurice. The profile was done from newspaper articles and other sources. Maybe someone from his family will see this and pass it on to him.


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