Sunday, January 31, 2016

1977 Profile: Marvin Bass

Pro Scout
"A veteran football man with more than 30 years of coaching and administrative experience, Mavin heads up the youthful Buffalo pro scouting operation. He worked in the pro scouting area, added to the Bills' personnel setup two years ago, part-time last fall and also helped out as an assistant coach. Marvin was with Buffalo once previously as line coach from 1968-71.
A graduate of William & Mary, where he was a teammate of ex-Buffalo coaches Buster Ramsey and Harvey Johnson, Bass was a three-time All-Conference and two-time All-American tackle. He passed up a pro playing career to coach, starting at his alma mater as line coach in 1944.
In the years since, Bass has twice been a head coach in college- at William & Mary (1951) and South Carolina (1962-65)- and directed the fortunes of two pro teams- the Continental League Montreal Beavers (1966-67) and the WFL Birmingham Vulcans (1975). His 1951 William & Mary team went 7-3 and won the Southern Conference championship. He had a share of an ACC crown at South Carolina.
Bass served as an assistant at a number of colleges, including William & Mary (1944-48), North Carolina twice (1949-50, 1953-56), South Carolina (1957-60), Georgia Tech (1961) and Richmond (1972-73). He also was line coach of the Washington Redskins in 1952 and defensive coordinator of the World League champion Birmingham Americans for a year (1974) before becoming skipper of the reorganized Vulcans a year later."

-Buffalo Bills 1977 Press-Radio-TV Yearbook

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

1977 Profile: Harvey Johnson

Special Super Scout
"New responsibilities are old hat to Harvey Johnson, who has served the Bills as an assistant and head coach, director of player personnel and, now, as a super scout. Under the recent reorganization of the personnel department, owner Ralph C. Wilson outlined new duties for Johnson, who will follow the top 150 collegiate players regardless of position.
A part of the Buffalo organization since the first days of the franchise, Johnson was the Bills' defensive backfield mentor in 1960-61. He was appointed Director of Player Personnel in 1962, succeeding Lou Saban when Lou took over as head coach. Harvey was Buffalo's head coach for 12 games of the 1968 season, following the abrupt dismissal of Joe Collier, and for the entire 1971 campaign.
A product of William & Mary, Johnson played for the Bainbridge Naval Training Center from 1943-45. A draft choice of the All-America Conference New York Yankees, Johnson played regularly in the pros as a defensive back but earned his principal recognition as a placement specialist, once stringing together 146 consecutive conversions.
Harvey remained with the New York franchise when it joined the NFL in 1950 but retired as a player in 1953 to take an assistant coaching job with the Hamilton Tiger Cats. He became head coach of the Kitchener team (Rugby Football Union) in 1954 and guided them to four titles in as many years. He left Kitchener to coach with the Montreal Alouettes from 1958-59."

-Buffalo Bills 1977 Press-TV-Radio Guide

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

1977 Profile: Ray Wietecha

Offensive Line Coach
"In the middle 1950s the two most honored centers in professional football were Jim Ringo of Green Bay and Ray Wietecha of the New York Giants. If Wietecha didn't make the All-Pro team, it was because Ringo did and vice versa. It came as no surprise, therefore, that when Jim Ringo went looking for a successor as offensive line coach, he chose Ray Wietecha.
The Giants' starting center for 10 seasons, Ray won All-NFL honors in 1958 and was a member of the Pro Bowl squad in 1955, 1958, 1960 and 1962. He played on five Eastern Conference title winners and the 1956 NFL Championship team, 47-7 winners over the Chicago Bears. He was also involved in the famous 'sudden death' Championship game between the Giants and the Colts at Yankee Stadium in 1958.
A 'future' pick of the Giants in the 12th round of the 1950 college draft, Ray had a distinguished college career at Northwestern, winning All-Big 10 honors. The start of his NFL career was delayed by a season of minor league baseball in the Washington Senators system and two years in the Marine Corps.
Pro coaching beckoned at the end of his playing days and Wietecha accepted his first job with the Rams. After two years in LA (1963-64) he moved to Green Bay where, under the legendary Vince Lombardi, he was charged with the offensive line and the Packer running game. In five seasons (1965-70) Green Bay teams Wietecha was associated with won a total of 51 games, three NFL Championships and two Super Bowl crowns.
He rejoined the Giants as a scout in 1971 and became the offensive coach a year later. He was with the New York team through the 1976 season."

-Buffalo Bills 1977 Press-Radio-TV Yearbook

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

1977 Profile: Jerry Wampfler

Defensive Line Coach
"Recruited by Woody Hayes, Jerry Wampfler arrived at Miami (Ohio) University after Hayes had departed for Ohio State and left the football program to Ara Parseghian. For three seasons, Wampfler was a standout offensive lineman under Parseghian.
Following graduation, Wampfler went directly into coaching, starting at New Philadelphia (Ohio) High School in his hometown as an assistant. A year later, he became offensive line coach at Presbyterian College in South Carolina. From 1956-62, Wampfler shifted between assignments at Perry High in Massillon, Ohio and Lancaster (Ohio) High.
He returned to Miami as offensive line coach in 1963 and remained there until 1966 when he was tapped by Parseghian for the same job at Notre Dame. Wampfler had a hand in the Irish's 1966 National Championship and, in four seasons at South Bend, developed such All-Americas as guards Tom Regner and Larry DiNardo, and tackles Jim Reilly and George Kunz.
Wampfler left Notre Dame in 1970 to accept the head job at Colorado State and was CSU coach for three years. Jerry entered the pros with Mike McCormack's Philadelphia Eagles in 1973, spending three seasons in Philadelphia. Lou Saban named him to the Buffalo staff in February 1976."

-Buffalo Bills 1977 Press-Radio-TV Yearbook

Sunday, January 17, 2016

1977 Profile: Richie McCabe

Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Backfield Coach
"Newly-appointed defensive coordinator Richie McCabe is not new to his assignment or his surroundings. He conceived the Cleveland defensive strategy during his final two years of a five-year stint with the Browns (1971-75). Richie has been a member of the Buffalo organization twice previously- as a player in the formative years of the franchise (1960-61) and later as an assistant coach (1966-68).
A native of Pittsburgh, McCabe was a starter on both offense and defense for the Pitt Panthers. He was selected by the Steelers in the 22nd round of the 1955 college draft and played four seasons in his hometown before going to the Redskins in 1959. He signed with the Bills a year later and made the 1960 American Football League all-star teams selected by the Associated Press and the Sporting News. A 1961 knee injury forced an early end to his playing days. He had five interceptions in his abbreviated Buffalo career.
Returning to Pittsburgh, McCabe taught high school for two years before entering coaching at Carnegie Tech where he worked during the 1964-65 seasons. Richie broke into professional coaching with the Bills in 1966. His 1967 secondary established a team record that stood until 1974, permitting opponents only 1,825 passing yards in one season. Two of his defenders, George Saimes and Butch Byrd, won All-AFL honors during McCabe's tenure. Moving to Oakland for the 1969-70 seasons, McCabe helped the Raiders to a pair of Western Division championships, working with all-star performers Willie Brown and Dave Grayson. Four of the five years he was with the Browns, McCabe's pass defenders ranked among the top 10 in the NFL. His 1972 Cleveland group was third in the League."

-Buffalo Bills 1977 Press-Radio-TV Yearbook

Saturday, January 9, 2016

1977 Profile: Jim LaRue

Offensive Backfield Coach
"Coach of the Buffalo receivers in his rookie NFL season last fall, Jim LaRue takes over the offensive backfield responsibilities this fall.
A college football coach for 26 years prior to joining the Bills in 1976, the native of Clinton, Oklahoma was associate head coach and offensive coordinator at Wake Forest in 1975. LaRue masterminded the Demon Deacons' defense in 1974.
The new Buffalo assistant is a former head coach at the University of Arizona, where he led the Wildcats to a won-lost record of 41-37-2 from 1959-66. His 1961 Arizona team was 8-1-1, the best single season record in the history of the school, and ranked second nationally in both passing and receiving. Over one span, LaRue's Wildcats rolled up three straight victories over arch-rival Arizona State. Three of his Arizona products were picked in the first three rounds of the NFL draft.
After leaving Tucson following the 1966 season, LaRue went to the University of Utah where he was defensive coordinator and top assistant for seven years (1967-73). He also served on the coaching staffs of The University of Maryland (1950), Kansas State (1951, 1954), the University of Houston (1955-56) and Southern Methodist (1957-58). For two seasons (1952-53), Jim was athletic director and head coach of one of the nation's top service teams at the Bainbridge, Maryland Naval Training Center. Ten of his former quarterbacks are coaching in college, junior college or high school ball. Ex-Cowboy great Don Meredith was a LaRue pupil at SMU.
A two-way halfback in college, LaRue played at Carson-Newman, Duke and Maryland while working on a Master's degree. He appeared in three Bowl games, including the 1945 Duke-Alabama Sugar Bowl classic. Drafted twice, he passed up a professional career to teach and coach."

-Buffalo Bills 1977 Press-TV-Radio Yearbook

Sunday, January 3, 2016

1977 Profile: Kay Dalton

Receivers Coach
"Formerly head coach of the CFL Montreal Alouettes, Kay Dalton is new to the Buffalo staff this year.
The Moab, Utah product who played collegiately at Colorado State, succeeds Jim LaRue as the Bills' receivers coach. Dalton comes from the Denver Broncos organization where he spent the last three seasons in a similar capacity, developing such Bronco standouts as All-Pro tight end Riley Odoms and sensational Rick Upchurch, an All-Rookie pick in 1975.
Dalton's first coaching job was at Trinidad State Junior College where he directed the football program for two years (1958-60). He subsequently served as head coach at Western State College for five seasons (1961-65). Montreal was Dalton's next stop, joining the Alouettes as an assistant in 1966. He became the head coach a year later and remained in that capacity through 1969. A year later, Dalton was still in the CFL but as offensive coordinator of the British Columbia Lions.
Kay left Canada for a job on the offensive staff at the University of Colorado. He went to the Broncos in a scouting capacity after two seasons in Boulder and, a year later, was on the Denver coaching staff. The ex-tight end did not play professionally but has eight years of experience as a coach in the NFL and CFL."

-Buffalo Bills 1977 Press-Radio-TV Yearbook