Skip to primary navigation Skip to main content

This Day in Buffalo Sports History: Welcome, Buster

     December 16, 1959 -- The name Garrard Sliger Ramsey isn't exactly common. It sounds like it should go with someone who is a member of a Presidential cabinet from several decades ago.

   It's clearly not the name of a football coach. Maybe that's why Mr. Ramsey went by the nickname of "Buster." At least in football circles. This is the day when Bills owner Ralph Wilson hired his first coach, Buster Ramsey.

     Ramsey is quite famous among football historians. He was the defensive coach (they didn't call them coordinators back then) for some great Detroit Lions' teams in the 1950. Ramsey invented the 4-3 defense and the linebacker blitz.

     Wilson had been a minority owner of the Lions in the 50's, so he knew of Ramsey but didn't know him personally. A phone call changed all that.

     Ramsey only lasted two years as head coach of the Bills, but his influence is felt in at least one way -- he designed the team's original uniforms, which were more or less copies of the Lions' color scheme.

--- Budd Bailey


comments powered by Disqus

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.