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In a snap, Bills' brain trust trending decades younger

By Tim Graham

WGR morning host Howard Simon recently tweeted about the average age of the Buffalo Bills' top decision-makers getting slashed the past couple weeks.

Let's take a closer look by breaking down ages of the men involved.

Listed ages -- taken from public records and official media guide biographies -- are relative to opening day of last year or this year and are rounded to the nearest whole number.

  • • President: from Ralph Wilson (93) to Russ Brandon (46)
  • • General manager: Buddy Nix (73) stays the same for now
  • • Head coach: from Chan Gailey (61) to Doug Marrone (49)
  • • Offensive coordinator: from Curtis Modkins (42) to Nathaniel Hackett (34)
  • • Defensive coordinator: from Dave Wannstedt (60) to Mike Pettine (47)
  • • Special-teams coordinator: from Bruce DeHaven (64) to Danny Crossman (43)

So to add them up ...

The total years for these men at the beginning of last season was 393 overall for an average age of 65.5 years. The total for the head coach and his three coordinators was 56.8 years.

The new staff reduces the average age by nearly two decades. At the start of the upcoming season, barring changes, the total years of the men in charge will be 292 years for an average age of 48.7 years.

But there's an expectation Nix will be eased out of his role and replaced by the 40-year-old Doug Whaley. That would lower the average age to 43.2 years.

The new head coach and coordinators will total 173 years for an average age of 43.3 years.

For those Bills fans who thought the team and its philosophies had gotten stale, this trend is promising for freshening things up.

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About Press Coverage

Tim Graham

Tim Graham

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

@ByTimGraham | [email protected]


Mark Gaughan

Mark Gaughan

Buffalo native Mark Gaughan started working at The News in 1980 and has been covering the Bills exclusively since 1992. He is a former president of the Pro Football Writers of America, and he is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee.

@gggaughan | [email protected]


Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida. He writes a weekly Fantasy column in addition to his beat writing duties.

@JaySkurski | [email protected]

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