Joe Tofflemire

Joe Tofflemire
No. 56
Position: Center
Personal information
Date of birth: (1965-07-07)July 7, 1965
Place of birth: Los Angeles, California
Date of death: September 27, 2011(2011-09-27) (aged 46)
Place of death: Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
Height: 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Weight: 273 lb (124 kg)
Career information
High school: Post Falls High School
College: University of Arizona
NFL Draft: 1989 / Round: 2 / Pick: 44
Career history
Career highlights and awards
  • Morris Trophy (1988)
  • Playboy All-American (1988)
  • College Football News All-American First team (1988), Second team (1986-1987)
Career NFL statistics
Games played: 33
Games started: 16
-: -
Player stats at

Joseph Salvatore "Joe" Tofflemire (July 7, 1965 – September 27, 2011) was a Center in the National Football League who played for the Seattle Seahawks drafted in the 2nd round as the 44th pick overall in the 1989 NFL draft and played college football at the University of Arizona.


Tofflemire was a 1989 graduate of The University of Arizona starting all four years at the position of Center becoming the best in Wildcat history. Originally recruited as a linebacker he was quickly converted back to Center which is what he played in high school. Tofflemire was a first team Playboy All-American and first team College Football News (CFN) All-American[1][2] in 1988, and was second team All-American selection for CFN in 1986 and 1987. The 1988 Playboy team along with Tofflemire featured Barry Sanders, Troy Aikman, Deion Sanders, and Derrick Thomas the latter four are all in the Pro Football Hall of fame. Tofflemire is one of the most decorated lineman in Arizona football history, and one of the most decorated in Pac-10 history. Tofflemire was inducted into the University of Arizona Hall of Fame in 1994, named to the Wildcat Stadium Ring of Honor in 1997, and is ranked as the #7 all time player in Arizona football history.[3] Tofflemire was a Morris Trophy[4] winner in 1988, and a three time All-Pac-10 first team selection his sophomore thru senior seasons, and selected as second team his freshman season.


Tofflemire was drafted in the second round of the 1989 NFL Draft and was the 44th selection overall by the Seattle Seahawks. Tofflemire started all 16 games for the Seahawks in the 1992 season after taking over at center for Grant Feasel. Tofflemire was hurt the following year and was ultimately replaced by Ray Donaldson as the starter and the rest of his NFL career was plagued by injuries. Tofflemire retired after the 1994 season not wanting to take a salary cut putting an end to what many had thought would be a great NFL career coming out of college.

High School

Tofflemire was a 1984 graduate of Post Falls High School where he was a four-year letterman in both track and football, and was inducted into the inaugural Post Falls High School Hall of Fame along with his best friend Rollin Putzier who also was a lineman in the NFL.[5] Joe set school records in both the shot-put and discus medaling at the Idaho State Championships as well as being part of the sprint relay teams. Tofflemire was a standout in football in which he was named to multiple All State and All Star teams as a lineman and during his senior year he was honored as the Idaho Offensive Lineman of the year. Joe was highly recruited by many Division I (NCAA) teams and decided to attend the University of Arizona on a full ride scholarship. In addition to being a standout lineman he was also an All Intermountain League First Team kicker his junior and senior seasons. He kicked a 44 yard field goal his junior year in a State Playoff game versus Bishop Kelly which at that time was an Idaho high school state record. He wore a size 15, black Spot-bilt square toe kicking shoe and was given the name "Joe the Toe" by assistant coach Steve Long during a practice session. The nickname stuck, and throughout his life he was referred to by former high school, college and pro teammates simply as "Toe". With a powerful leg, he could regularly kick the football through the uprights on kickoffs. Joe started off being a chubby place kicker and was moved up to the varsity team his freshman year as a kicker. After which he became completely dedicated to weight training winning many weight lifting competitions and setting many lifting records, chiseling his body into a Lou Ferrigno like physique to become one of the strongest and best linemen in Idaho Prep football history and ultimately University of Arizona and Pac-10 history.

Personal life

Tofflemire was born in Los Angeles, California July 7, 1965. Tofflemire grew up in Post Falls, Idaho, as one of eight siblings born to John and Anna Tofflemire. Tofflemire had two sons: Michael, who played football at Weber State, and Johnny.[6]


Joe died September 27, 2011, aged 46, in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, after being found unconscious and unresponsive in his Post Falls home.[7] According to his brother Paul, the cause of death was heart failure.[8] Also according to Paul, Joe was never healthy again after being in the NFL after having many surgeries and complications from his injuries sustained while playing. Tofflemire injured a shoulder at Arizona that suffered further pounding in the pros. There would be nine surgeries for that, over time, including a replacement. Four screws were implanted to keep his spine in place. Concussions, not remotely the red flag they are now, were sustained and likely unreported. These things impacted the rest of his life,” Paul Tofflemire said. “He was always in pain. He couldn’t be active and his weight was up to 300 pounds plus. The sad thing was watching him get out of bed. I felt so bad – this guy was so active and agile when he was younger and he was like a crippled old man.[9]


  1. Cole, Gary. "1988 Playboy All-American Team".
  2. Cole, Gary. "Playboy All American Teams".
  3. Gimino, Anthony (2013-09-01). "Top 50 football players in Arizona Wildcats history, No. 7: Center Joe Tofflemire, 1985-88". Tucson Citizen. Retrieved 2013-09-01.
  4. "1988 Morris Trophy Winner Joe Tofflemire".
  5. Walker, Brian (2011-09-29). "Feared in football; humble at home Ex-Post Falls, Arizona, Seahawks player Tofflemire remembered". Retrieved 2011-09-29.
  6. Gimino, Anthony (2011-09-28). "Updated: Remembering Wildcat star Joe Tofflemire, dead at 46: 'One of the good guys'". Tucson Citizen. Retrieved 2011-09-28.
  7. Blanchette, John (2011-09-28). "Former Seahawk Joe Tofflemire dies". The Spokesman-Review. Retrieved 2011-09-29.
  8. Boling, Dave (2011-10-09). "The toll of hard knocks". The News Tribune. Retrieved 2012-07-09.
  9. Blanchette, John (2011-10-01). "Blanchette: Give Tofflemire thought on Sunday". The Spokesman Review. Retrieved 2011-10-01.
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