Kay Stephenson

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Kay Stephenson
Personal information
Date of birth (1944-12-17) December 17, 1944 (age 70)
Place of birth DeFuniak Springs, FL
Career information
Position(s) Quarterback
College Florida
Head coaching record
Career record 10-26-0
Stats
Playing stats NFL.com
Playing stats DatabaseFootball
Coaching stats DatabaseFootball
Team(s) as a player
1967
1968
1974
AFL San Diego Chargers
AFL Buffalo Bills
WFL
Jacksonville Sharks
Team(s) as a coach/administrator
1983–1985
1991–1992
1993–1994
1995
1998
NFL Buffalo Bills
WLAF Sacramento Surge
CFL Sacramento Gold Miners
CFL San Antonio Texans
CFL Edmonton Eskimos

George Kay Stephenson (born December 17, 1944) is an American former college and professional football player and current coach, whose latter career has seen him work in four different professional leagues. Stephenson played quarterback for the American Football League's San Diego Chargers and Buffalo Bills. He finished his career in the World Football League playing for the Jacksonville Sharks in 1974 before entering the coaching ranks.

Early life[edit]

Stephenson was born in DeFuniak Springs, Florida in 1944, and grew up in nearby Pensacola. He attended Pensacola High School, and earned All-State accolades as a quarterback for the Pensacola Tigers high school football team. He accepted an athletic scholarship to attend the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida, where he played for coach Ray Graves' Florida Gators football team from 1964 to 1966.[1] His arrival on the Florida campus coincided with that of another standout recruit, Steve Spurrier, who became the starting quarterback in 1964, and won the Heisman Trophy in 1966. Stephenson remained a backup.

Stephenson graduated from Florida with a bachelor's degree in physical education in 1967.

Professional football coaching career[edit]

After serving as a quarterbacks coach the previous season, Stephenson succeeded Chuck Knox as Buffalo Bills head coach on February 3, 1984.[2][3] Stephenson was reportedly surprised to get the job, claiming that Bills owner Ralph Wilson "never explained his reasons for selecting me."[2] Under Stephenson, the Bills went 8-8 in 1983,[4] 2-14 in 1984,[5] and after losing the first four games of 1985, Stephenson was replaced by Hank Bullough.[4] Perhaps the most lasting impression that Stephenson left on the Buffalo Bills was when he decided to change their helmet color from white to red prior to the 1984 season, insisting that the change would aid Buffalo quarterbacks in finding receivers downfield. At the time, three of the Bills' four division rivals (New England Patriots, Indianapolis Colts, and Miami Dolphins) wore white helmets. The gambit didn't work as interceptions actually increased the subsequent season.[6]

Stephenson also coached in the World League where he led the Sacramento Surge to the 1992 World Bowl championship, and in the Canadian Football League he coached the San Antonio Texans and the Edmonton Eskimos.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ 2011 Florida Gators Football Media Guide, University Athletic Association, Gainesville, Florida, p. 185 (2011). Retrieved August 31, 2011.
  2. ^ a b At a Glance: 1983, Relentless: The Hard-Hitting History of Buffalo Bills Football, Sal Maiorana, 1994
  3. ^ The Month of February In Bills History
  4. ^ a b 1983 Buffalo Bills, History of Pro Football in Western New York
  5. ^ 1984 Buffalo Bills, History of Pro Football in Western New York
  6. ^ Fun and Fashion on the Gridiron, Paul Lukas, ESPN.com Page 2