Buster Ramsey

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Buster Ramsey
Illustration from a football card of Ramsey in a red jersey with the number 20 on the front
Ramsey on a 1950 Bowman football card
No. 20
Position:Guard, linebacker
Personal information
Born:(1920-03-16)March 16, 1920
Townsend, Tennessee
Died:September 16, 2007(2007-09-16) (aged 87)
Signal Mountain, Tennessee
Height:6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight:219 lb (99 kg)
Career information
High school:Knoxville (TN)
College:William & Mary
NFL Draft:1943 / Round: 14 / Pick: 124
Career history
As a player:
As a coach:
Career highlights and awards
Head coaching record
Regular season:11–16–1 (.411)
Player stats at PFR
Coaching stats at PFR

Garrard Sliger "Buster" Ramsey (March 16, 1920 – September 16, 2007) was an American football player for the College of William and Mary and Chicago Cardinals. He was the first head coach of the AFL's Buffalo Bills.

Playing career[edit]

After a stint in the United States Navy during World War II, Ramsey played for the Chicago Cardinals of the National Football League (NFL) from 1946 to 1951. During his time with the Cardinals, Ramsey was a member of the franchise’s 1947 NFL World Championship team.

Coaching career[edit]

In 1951, Ramsey served as a player-coach for the Cardinals before becoming the Detroit Lions’ defensive coordinator in 1952. During his tenure with the Lions, Ramsey developed the 4-3 defense, a staple of modern football. In addition, he was the first coach to blitz linebackers, in a package he called Red Dog. With Ramsey as defensive coordinator the Lions won three World Championships in the 1950s. He developed a number of Lions greats including Yale Lary, Jack Christiansen, and Jim David, among others. In 1960, he was hired as the first head coach of the American Football League’s Buffalo Bills. Though fired by Bills' owner Ralph C. Wilson Jr. after the 1961 AFL season, Ramsey is credited with laying the foundation of what would become one of the best defenses in AFL history. He would go on to serve as the defensive coordinator of the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1962 to 1964.

Personal life[edit]

Ramsey had a brother, Knox Ramsey, who also played for the College of William and Mary, and later professionally for the Chicago Cardinals and Washington Redskins. Ramsey was elected into the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame in 1974, and the College Football Hall of Fame in 1978.

Head coaching record[edit]

Team Year Regular Season Post Season
Won Lost Ties Win % Finish Won Lost Win % Result
BUF 1960 5 8 1 .393 3rd in AFL Eastern
BUF 1961 6 8 0 .429 4th in AFL Eastern
BUF Total 11 16 1 .411
AFL Total[1] 11 16 1 .411
Total 11 16 1 .411

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Buster Ramsey Record, Statistics, and Category Ranks - Pro-Football-Reference.com". Pro-Football-Reference.com.

External links[edit]