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This Day in Buffalo Sports History: Fort Knox

   January 10, 1978 -- It was a surprise then, and it is still a surprise today. Ralph Wilson reached out and hired a big-name coach on this day.

   Chuck Knox had won five straight NFC West titles as coach of the Los Angeles Rams, but he hadn't gotten the team to a Super Bowl. That record wasn't good for owner Carroll Rosenbloom.

   So Knox jumped before he was fired, signing a $1.2 million, six-year deal with the Bills. Buffalo's football fans reacted with glee, having gone through some of the worst years in the history of the franchise in the late 1970's.

    Knox needed only a couple of years to rebuild the Bills. By 1980, Buffalo jumped out to a 5-0 start and make the playoffs. The Bills were back in the postseason under Knox again in 1981.

   However, Buffalo couldn't reach the postseason in 1982, a year remembered for labor troubles. After the season, Knox jumped to the Seattle Seahawks and was replaced by Kay Stephenson.

   Knox won plenty of games throughout this career, but never did reach the promised land of the Super Bowl.

--- Budd Bailey


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About Sports, Ink

Budd Bailey

Budd Bailey

Budd Bailey has served in a variety of roles in Buffalo sports in the past 35 years, including reporter, talk-show host, baseball announcer, public relations staffer and author. He covers the Bandits and running for The News when not working as an editor.