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This Day in Buffalo Sports History: A messy divorce

     January 2, 1966 -- It looked for a while as if Lou Saban and the Buffalo Bills were going to live happily ever after. They had won AFL championships in 1964 and 1965, and Saban was the coach of the year for both of those seasons. Surely, even more good times were ahead.

     That's what made the announcement that came on this date such a shock. Saban left the Bills to coach the University of Maryland's football team.

     It started Saban on a journey that took him through all sorts of jobs in the years to come. What's more, he didn't even hang around Maryland for very long. Saban lasted one season there, and then was off to Denver for five seasons.

     In 1972, Saban returned as Bills coach and got the Bills into the playoffs once, but he couldn't win a title in stay number two. From there it was on to the University of Miami in 1976, where he recruited a quarterback named Jim Kelly. Then Saban had a variety of other jobs, including president of the New York Yankees.

     In hindsight, it's fair to say the Bills lost a little magic when Saban lost for the first time in 1966. Buffalo hasn't won a football championship since then.

--- 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.