Dublin High School Announces Napoleon Kaufman as New Head Varsity Football Coach

The Dublin High School Athletic Department is pleased to announce it has hired Napoleon Kaufman to be its new Head Varsity Football Coach.

Kaufman was a two-time All-American running back for the University of Washington who played 6 seasons for the Oakland Raiders and won a CIFState Title as the Head Coach at Bishop O’Dowd High School. He is currently the Senior Pastor of The Well Christian Community in Livermore and is a nationally acclaimed speaker and youth mentor.

“One of the most rewarding experiences in my life has been working with young athletes, inspiring them to reach their potential and showing them the beauty of teamwork, commitment, and perseverance,” Kaufman said. “I enjoy helping young men and women become better athletes and also better human beings. Dublin High has a great tradition of athletics success and I hope to add to that legacy as the new head coach of Dublin High football.”

Kaufman first earned notoriety during his time at Lompoc High School as one of the greatest high school running backs in California prep history. After rushing for over 1,000 yards as a sophomore, Kaufman compiled 2,954 all-purpose yards and 39 touchdowns the following year. Despite battling through injuries his senior year, Kaufman rushed for 1,960 yards and 34 touchdowns while leading his team to a 13-1 record and a CIF State Championship while being named 1st-Team All-America by USA today. In addition to football, Kaufman was also an exceptional track athlete at Lompoc, winning CIF State titles in both the 100m and 200m.

After being recruited by schools all over the country, Kaufman opted to attend the University of Washington where he would have a storied college career. As a true freshman in 1991, Kaufman returned kicks for a Huskies’ squad that would go on to win the national title. Kaufman would go on to become one of only three running backs in school history to rush for over 1,000 yards, and would set an all-time rushing record at Washington that stood for 23 years after finishing his career with 4,106 yards. He was named to the All-Pac-10 teams for his final three seasons, and in 1994 was an All-American who finished 9th in Heisman trophy voting.

Kaufman was selected in the 1st round of the 1995 NFL Draft by the Oakland Raiders, where he remained for the entirety of his 6-year NFL career. He scored a touchdown in his very first NFL game against the San Diego Chargers, and would emerge as the Raiders’ primary running back by 1997 when he rushed for 1,294 yards. One of the greatest games of his career occurred in Week 8 when he ran for 227 yards to lead the Raiders to an upset of the then undefeated and eventual Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos. Kaufman’s 227 yards rushing stood as a franchise single game record until Josch Jacobs broke it in 2022.

During his 6-year career, Kaufman averaged 4.9 yards per carry and played in 91 games. He finished with 18 touchdowns, 127 receptions, and 8,048 all-purpose yards (4,792 rushing). Playing under Head Coach Jon Gruden, the Raiders reached the AFC Championship game before falling to the eventual Super Bowl champions the Baltimore Ravens in what would end up being Kaufman’s final professional game.

Following the 2000 season, Kaufman felt a call to Christian ministry and retired. He formed the Well Christian Community Church with 15 families in Dublin in 2003, and is now the Senior Pastor for a congregation that now has over 1,000 regular worshipers who attend weekly services at their 83,000 square foot facility in Livermore. Kaufman also served as the Raiders’ team chaplain until their departure to Las Vegas in 2020.

Kaufman’s coaching career began in the Pleasanton Junior Football League where he coached his three sons for nearly a decade. He would eventually follow them to Bishop O’Dowd, becoming the Dragons’ Head Varsity Football Coach in 2014. Over the course of 6 seasons, Kaufman compiled a record of 51-25 overall, three league championships, and a CIF State title in 2016.

After his youngest son graduated, Kaufman stepped down from coaching following the 2019 season. However, he missed being on the sidelines, and was excited for the opportunity to return to the game he is so passionate about and give back to the students of Dublin as a coach.

“While we are sad to see Coach Black leave, and want to thank him for his contributions to our school, we are excited for what lies ahead,” said Dublin High Athletic Director Tim Sbranti. . “Napoleon Kaufman brings a storied high school, college, and professional career – and the experience that comes with it- to Dublin, As a coach, he led Bishop O’Dowd to a Division 5-AA state championship in 2016. As a person, he brings a commitment to community and his faith that I believe will have a positive influence on and off the field.”

Photo Courtesy of Bay Area News Group

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