Bills Name Chan Gailey Head Coach

Posted on January 19, 2010 by Patrick Moran

The Chan Gailey era has officially begun.

The 57-year old former Dallas Cowboys and Georgia Tech coach has agreed to become the next head coach of the Buffalo Bills on Tuesday.

There will be a press conference today at 2pm.

Gailey fit the criteria that new Bills general manager Buddy Nix was looking for; a head coach with experience who’s regarded as an offensive mind.

Although it doesn’t seem like there was a rush to hire Gailey the Bills had to make a decision.  Gailey was considering taking the offensive coordinator job in Chicago.

Gailey was last a head coach in the NFL in 1998-99 with Dallas.  He led the Cowboys to the playoffs in both seasons, but following a 10-6 record his first year was fired after stumbling to 8-8 in 1999 when the team backed into the playoffs and lost to Minnesota in the first round, 27-10.

He’s been the offensive coordinator in Denver (1989-90), Pittsburgh (1996-97), Miami (2000-01) and Kansas City (2008).  He was fired by the Chiefs after training camp this year, just two weeks before the season started.

When Gailey was hired in Kansas City, it came with a strong endorsement from Bill Cowher, one of many who snubbed the Bills during this latest search.

“Of all the coordinators that I’ve had work for me, Chan Gailey was, if not the best, one of the best, and as resourceful an offensive mind that I’ve been around,” Cowher told Chiefs.com last January. “Moreover, his teaching skills are second to none.”

Cowher also reportedly recommended Gailey as the Bills pursued him recently. Cowher said if he got back into coaching Gailey would’ve been his offensive coordinator.

Gailey was also the coach at Georgia Tech from 2002-07, compiling a 44-33 record. He was fired after six seasons, largely because he never on a conference title, didn’t beat state rival Georgia and lost their fan base; making school fundraising more difficult.

Fans launched a website called FireChanGailey.com (sound familiar?) to have him removed, with a slogan of “If 7-5 is all you want, I’m your man!”

He’s now the Bills head coach in large because a plethora of other candidates turned down the job.

Buffalo Sports Daily has learned Russ Brandon flew out to California last Wednesday and the job was offered to Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh.  He rejected the offer sometime on Thursday.

The organization originally met with Gailey sometime last week and the Bills returned to meet with him in Georgia this past Sunday.  Gailey met with Ralph Wilson in Detroit early Monday and the brass flew into Buffalo to finalize contract details.

The list of potential suitors who rejected the organization is alarmingly long.  Mike Shanahan, Jon Gruden, Cowher and even Charlie Weis rejected overtures.  Coordinators Brian Schottenheimer, Russ Grimm and Ron Rivera turned down chances to interview for the job.

Leslie Frazier was considered a strong candidate, but never the first the choice of the organization as evidenced by the offer to Harbaugh.

Brandon has a well-earned reputation as a marketing wizard and he’ll need to be at his finest to sell this move to a fan base emphatically against the Gailey hire. There were other, more accomplished offensive-first head coaches available the Bills didn’t pursue.

Buffalo never contacted Brian Billick about the job and Wilson was said to not be interested in luring Marty Schottenheimer out of retirement.

Many already see the move another in a long line of Wilson “yes, man” hires.  Unlike Billick or Schottenheimer, Gailey is not likely to ruffle any front office feathers.

Gailey, much like his predecessor Dick Jauron is considered an even-keel, conservative coach who doesn’t show a lot of emotion and rarely gets in someone’s face.

“He’s about as dry as it gets. He’s not going to stir anybody up.” said Dallas radio sports host Randy Galloway in a Buffalo News report.

Check back here for full press conference coverage, insight and reaction.

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3 Comments on Bills Name Chan Gailey Head Coach

  1. Tweets that mention Bills Name Chan Gailey Head Coach : Buffalo Sports Daily -- Topsy.com

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Alyssa Jung, Patrick Moran. Patrick Moran said: Bills Name Chan Gailey Head Coach http://bit.ly/92KsH4 [...]

  2. george

    wow, simply terrible…. i would love to see how the bills are going to talk this sale up to the public. expect alot of black outs next season bills fans.

  3. Scott

    5-11, 6-10, 3-13 my prediction for the next 3 years with Gailey as the head coach! God I hate beingg a Bills fan this millenium

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