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This Birthday in Buffalo Sports History: Kay Stephenson

(Born December 17, 1944) -- The list of people who have served as a player and head coach for the Buffalo Bills is a short one. In fact, it begins and ends with George Kay Stephenson.

He was an all-star quarterback in Pensacola, Fla., which earned him a scholarship at the University of Florida. Stephenson’s timing was off. His time there matched the tenure of Steve Spurrier, who won a Heisman Trophy for the Gators in 1966.

He still made it to the pro ranks, signing with the Chargers in 1967. There Stephenson played in three games in a relief role. Then it was on to Buffalo in 1968, when the Bills crashed to a 1-12-1 season. Stephenson started three of those games. His last playing appearance as a pro was in 1974 for Jacksonville in the World Football League, as he started in that league’s first-ever game.

Stephenson moved on to coaching. After serving as the quarterback coach for the Bills in 1982, he moved up to the head coaching job when Knox left for Seattle. Buffalo had an 8-8 record in 1983, but fell to 2-14 in 1984. When the Bills lost their first four games in 1985, Stephenson was dismissed in favor of Hank Bullough.

After a gap of a few years, he landed a couple of other head coaching positions in the World League of American Football and the Canadian Football League.

--- Budd Bailey

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