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This Birthday in Buffalo Sports History: Jim Haslett

(Born December 9, 1955) -- When Jim Haslett first arrived in professional football, he was a goofy kid from Indiana University ... of Pennsylvania. Few could have guessed he’d turn into a football lifer.

Haslett was born in Pittsburgh and was good enough at Indiana to be a second-round draft pick of the Bills. He became part of a rebuilding Buffalo team under Chuck Knox, and he and new pal Fred Smerlas became media darlings with their wacky stories.

But Haslett could play. He was the league’s defensive rookie of the year in 1979, and helped the Bills win the AFC East in 1980. Haslett hung around Buffalo until 1985, and then spent two seasons with the Jets.

He started his coaching career at the University at Buffalo in 1988, and by 1996 was the defensive coordinator of the New Orleans Saints. In 2000, he landed the head coaching position of the Saints, staying through 2005.

After some time in St. Louis, where he was an interim coach in 2008, Haslett moved on to his present position with the Washington Redskins. We’ll see if he someday gets the chance to improve his 53-61 career coaching record in the NFL.

--- 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.