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This Birthday in Buffalo Sports History: Chan Gailey

(Born January 5, 1952) -- When Thomas Gailey was born in Georgia, his family might have expected him to be called Tom. Instead, somewhere along the way he was called by a shortened version of his middle name, as Chandler went to Chan.

By any name, Gailey was a top prep athlete. He lettered in football, basketball, baseball and golf, and was all-state at quarterback. Gailey played quarterback in the early 1970s at Florida.

He went into coaching right after college, and did the usual bouncing around. Gailey won a Division II national championship at Troy State in 1984 along the way. Finally, he got his big chance when he was named the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys in 1998.

Gailey made the playoffs in both of his years as the Cowboys’ coach, but he never won a playoff game. That wasn’t good enough for owner Jerry Jones at the time, but Jones said later he had made a mistake in firing Gailey.

Gailey went to Georgia Tech for several years, and was an offensive coordinator for the Chiefs in 2008. When the Bills went looking for a head coach in 2010, Gailey got the job.

--- Budd Bailey

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