In one of the bigger shockers of the offseason, the Bills today officially named Chan Gailey as the teams new head coach. The coach will come in and take over a team that has had little success since Marv Levy left the team in 1997.
Gailey was introduced by general manager Buddy Nix at a new conference Tuesday afternoon. The hiring, which broke last night, ended a two-month search to replace Dick Jauron, who was fired in November. Gailey takes over a team that finished 6-10 and becomes the Bills’ fifth coach since Levy retired after the 1997 season.
Gailey has spent 15 of his 38 years of coaching in the NFL. In his two years coaching the Dallas Cowboys, he went 18-14 and led the team to consecutive playoff appearances—both losses. He was dismissed after the 1999 season, and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has acknowledged his mistake in firing Gailey.
“If you sit there and say you lose confidence in yourself, no you don’t. But then you see opportunities go by. And you hope that your body of work will speak for itself,” Gailey said.
Nix said that he was anxious to find someone with previous head-coaching experience and an offensive background. “This guy met more of the criteria than I thought we could find,” Nix said. “And this guy’s won everywhere he’s been. … He’ll get us back to winning and get to where we want to go.”
Gailey has been out of football since he was removed as the Chiefs’ offensive coordinator in August, two weeks before the season opener. He was entering his second season with Kansas City after a six-year stretch as Georgia Tech’s coach, during which he went 44-33 before being fired in 2007.
The Bills hit several bumps during their coaching search. They spoke with former Steelers coach Bill Cowher in an attempt to lure him out of broadcasting. The team also interviewed former Broncos coach Mike Shanahan, who instead chose to coach the Washington Redskins. Last week, Jets offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer rejected the Bills’ request for an interview.