Chan Gailey Named Bills New Head Coach, Offensive Coordinator

After a 19-day coaching search, the Bills settle on Chan Gailey as their next head coach.

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Chan Gailey Officially Named Bills 15th Head Coach

The Bills held a press conference Tuesday afternoon to officially introduce Chan Gailey as the team’s new head coach. It’s a confusing decision that most Bills fans seem displeased with, but don’t worry Buffalo: GM Buddy Nix knows exactly what he’s doing:

It may have caught Bills fans off guard, but Chan Gailey fits exactly what general manager Buddy Nix was looking for in a head coach when he began his search 19 days ago. Hired as the 15th head coach in Bills history Tuesday, Gailey is a 35-year coaching veteran with 15 years under his belt in the NFL, including nine as a coordinator and head coach.

Nix made it clear when he was hired as general manager that while it was not essential, it was important that a candidate have prior head coaching experience.

"There is not a way to prepare for it, it is different," said Nix of being a head coach. "I don’t care how good an assistant you are, when you get to be the head man and have it all, then you might be successful at it or you might not. You are rolling the dice."

Gailey will also be the team’s offensive coordinator, a position he previously held with the Broncos, Cowboys, Steelers and Dolphins.


Bills Expected To Announce Chan Gailey As New Head Coach At 2PM ET Presser

Capping an unexpected turn in their coaching search, the Buffalo Bills are expected to announce Chan Gailey as their new head coach at a 2PM ET press conference today, according to reports from ESPN.

Gailey's apparent hiring marks the end of what SB Nation's resident Bills blogger Brian Galliford called a "twisting and arduous head coaching search" that included numerous assistant coaches around the league declining to even interview with Buffalo. ESPN reports that the Bills zeroed in on Gailey not only because of his previous head coaching experience and offensive expertise, but also because Bill Cowher, who the Bills doggedly pursued, recommended him to the team.

Gailey has had a long career in both college and the pros. He's been the head coach of both the Cowboys and Georgia Tech, as well as serving as the offensive coordinator in Denver, Pittsburgh, Miamia, and -- most recently -- in Kansas City, where he was precipitously fired this preseason after the new coaching regime came in.

Bills fans at SB Nation's Buffalo Rumblings were none too pleased with the announcement that Gailey is expected to be announced as the new head coach, with 58% expressing disapproval.


Indeed, the rather shocking denouement of the Bills' coaching search has left many of their fans exasperated at the lack of imagination of the team's front office for hiring another retread. SB Nation's Buffalo Rumblings didn't quite feel that way, but certainly understood it:

This news, if it ends up becoming reality, is surreal, almost to the point of a complete loss for words on my part. I'm not angry or exasperated or apathetic, which I understand puts me in a very distinct minority for the time being. But I don't think I can accurately summarize my feelings on the matter in a tidy, coherent post. Nothing about Buffalo's coaching search has been tidy or coherent [...]

Chan Gailey is a good football coach. I'm not sure I'd call him a good head football coach, but I certainly wouldn't call him a bad head football coach. Everyone's equating him to Dick Jauron, but Jauron came to Buffalo with 36 wins in five-plus years of coaching; Gailey has half as many (18) in two years of experience. [...]

That's about where the good news ends. I don't get caught up in the political or image aspects of things like this, but I fully understand why folks would be upset or worried. Bill Cowher has been dangled in front of us for weeks - even the owner mentioned he'd spoken with him - and to ride that roller coaster from Cowher all the way down to coordinators turning down interview requests to landing at Gailey, well, it's not hard to figure out why some stomachs might have turned. I'm not sure I believe the vast majority of folks threatening to drop season tickets or spend Sundays at the Home Depot, but yeah, I get the angst.

The only thing that matters going forward from the moment Gailey is introduced as head coach - remember, we're assuming it's a foregone conclusion - is what happens next. The only way Gailey will prove if he can handle head coaching responsibilities in this league is by winning ball games and making smart management decisions during games and with his personnel.

Whether the Bills would have been better served going with the one hot young assistant willing to interview with them -- Leslie Frazier, the defensive coordinator of the Vikings, who happens to have the Bill Polian/Tony Dungy "stamp of approval" -- is now a moot point. In Gailey, the Bills should have a decent, if uninspiring, choice. Par for the course in Buffalo.


Bills Reportedly Close To Hiring Chan Gailey As Head Coach

In a rather stunning development, former Cowboys and Georgia Tech head coach Chan Gailey has emerged as a "strong candidate" to be the Buffalo Bills' next head coach, according to The Buffalo News.

Despite interviewing Vikings defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier, he is apparently no longer in the picture, and Gailey’s arrival in Buffalo appears imminent. Indeed, the always trustworthy Adam Schefter of ESPN says that a deal is all but done, while Fox Sport’s Jay Glazer confirms that “barring a breakdown” Gailey will be announced as the Bills’ new head coach.

Gailey secretively interviewed with the Bills last week, and would meet Bills general manager Buddy Nix’s preference of hiring someone with previous head coaching experience and expertise on the offensive side of the ball. Gailey last worked in the NFL as the offensive coordinator of the Chiefs last season in 2008. He was abruptly fired two weeks before the beginning of the regular season this year after new head coach Todd Haley came in.

For more on the Buffalo Bills, head over to SB Nation’s Buffalo Rumblings.


Bills Hoping To Interview Russ Grimm And Brian Schottenheimer

The Buffalo Bills have requested permission to interview Arizona Cardinals’ assistant head coach and offensive line coach Russ Grimm as well as and New York Jets’ offensive coordinator Brain Schottenheimer for their head coaching vacancy.

Whether either actually interviews for the position remains to be seen as both seem content where they are now.

Reports have circulated over the past several days – from WIVB’s John Murphy as well as from ESPN’s John Clayton – that Grimm would turn down any interview requests that came his way from Buffalo. Meanwhile, Schottenheimer has repeatedly said that he’s happy in New York.

Buffalo’s interim head coach Perry Fewell and Vikings’ defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier, who has been deemed the favorite for the job by some, have already interviewed for the position.


Bills Reportedly Fire Entire Coaching Staff

The Bills have fired their entire coaching staff, according to FOX Sports’ Jay Glazer. This would presumably include Perry Fewell, who has served as interim head coach since the firing of Dick Jauron on November 17th. Here’s the full rundown of Buffalo’s coaching staff.

Fewell led the Bills to a 3-4 record as head coach, including a Week 17 win over the Colts’ back-up players.

For reaction from Bills fans, head over to SB Nation's Buffalo Rumblings.

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