December 17, 1944 |
DeFuniak Springs, Florida
|Height:||6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)|
|Weight:||210 lb (95 kg)|
|High school:||Pensacola (FL)|
|Head coaching record|
|Regular season:||NFL: 10–26 (.278)
CFL: 36–35–1 (.507)
|Postseason:||CFL: 2–2 (.500)|
|Career:||NFL: 10–26 (.278)
CFL: 38–37–1 (.507)
|Player stats at PFR|
|Coaching stats at PFR|
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 playing career in 1974 in the World Football League with the Jacksonville Sharks before entering the coaching ranks.
Stephenson was born in DeFuniak Springs, Florida in 1944, and grew up in nearby Pensacola. He attended Pensacola High School, and he earned All-State accolades as a quarterback. He accepted an athletic scholarship to attend the University of Florida, where he played for coach Ray Graves from 1964 to 1966. His arrival on the Florida campus coincided with that of another standout recruit, Steve Spurrier, who became the starting quarterback in 1964, and who 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
After serving as a quarterbacks coach the previous season, Stephenson succeeded Chuck Knox as Buffalo Bills head coach on February 3, 1983. Stephenson was reportedly surprised to get the job, claiming that Bills owner Ralph Wilson "never explained his reasons for selecting me." Under Stephenson, the Bills went 8-8 in 1983, 2-14 in 1984, and after they lost their first four games in 1985, Stephenson was replaced by Hank Bullough. Perhaps the most lasting impression that Stephenson left on the Bills was changing 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, the New England Patriots, Indianapolis Colts, and Miami Dolphins, wore white helmets. The gambit didn't work as interceptions actually increased the subsequent season.
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.
Head coaching record
|Won||Lost||Ties||Win %||Finish||Won||Lost||Win %||Result|
|BUF||1983||8||8||0||.500||3rd in AFC East||–||–||–||–|
|BUF||1984||2||14||0||.125||5th in AFC East||–||–||–||–|
|BUF||1985||0||4||0||.000||5th in AFC East||–||–||–||–|
- List of American Football League players
- List of Buffalo Bills head coaches
- List of Buffalo Bills players
- List of Florida Gators football players in the NFL
- List of University of Florida alumni
- 2011 Florida Gators Football Media Guide Archived 2012-04-02 at the Wayback Machine., University Athletic Association, Gainesville, Florida, p. 185 (2011). Retrieved August 31, 2011.
- At a Glance: 1983, Relentless: The Hard-Hitting History of Buffalo Bills Football, Sal Maiorana, 1994
- The Month of February In Bills History Archived 2009-03-13 at the Wayback Machine.
- 1983 Buffalo Bills, History of Pro Football in Western New York
- 1984 Buffalo Bills, History of Pro Football in Western New York
- Fun and Fashion on the Gridiron, Paul Lukas, ESPN.com Page 2