George Kay Stephenson (born December 17, 1944) is an American former college and professional
Football is a family of team sport
A team is a
player and current coach (sport)">coach, whose latter career has seen him work in four different professional leagues. Stephenson played quarterback for the American Football League's San Diego Chargers and Buffalo Bills. He finished his playing career in 1974 in the World Football League with the Jacksonville Sharks (WFL), Jacksonville Sharks before entering the coaching ranks.
Stephenson was born in DeFuniak Springs, Florida
in 1944, and grew up in nearby
Pensacola () is the westernmost city in the Florida Panhandle, and the county seat of Escambia County, Florida, Escambia County, Florida. As of 2019, the population was estimated to be 52,975. Pensacola is the principal city of the Pensacola metrop ...
. He attended Pensacola High School
, and he earned All-State accolades as a
The quarterback (commonly abbreviated "QB"), colloquially known as the "signal caller", is a position in gridiron football. Quarterbacks are members of the offensive Platoon system, platoon and mostly line up directly behind the Lineman (footbal ...
. He accepted an athletic scholarship to attend the
University of Florida
The University of Florida (Florida or UF) is a public university, public land-grant university, land-grant research university in Gainesville, Florida. It is a senior member of the State University System of Florida and traces its origins to ...
, where he played for coach Ray Graves
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** The first edition of the long-running TV music programme ''Top of the Pops'' is broadcast on BBC Television in the UK.
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** U.S. Senator Barry Goldwa ...
to 1966 Florida Gators football team, 1966.
2011 Florida Gators Football Media Guide
'', University Athletic Association, Gainesville, Florida, p. 185 (2011). Retrieved August 31, 2011.
His arrival on the Florida campus coincided with that of another standout recruit, Steve Spurrier, who became the starting lineup, starting quarterback in 1964, and who won the Heisman Trophy in 1966. Stephenson remained a backup.
Stephenson graduated from Florida with a bachelor's degree in physical education in 1967.
Professional football coaching career
After serving as a quarterbacks coach the previous season, Stephenson succeeded Chuck Knox as Buffalo Bills head coach on February 3, 1983.
[At a Glance: 1983](_blank)
''Relentless: The Hard-Hitting History of Buffalo Bills Football'', Sal Maiorana, 1994
Stephenson was reportedly surprised to get the job, claiming that Bills owner Ralph Wilson "never explained his reasons for selecting me."
Under Stephenson, the Bills went 8-8 in 1983,
[1983 Buffalo Bills](_blank)
History of Pro Football in Western New York
2-14 in 1984, and after they lost their first four games in 1985, Stephenson was replaced by Hank Bullough.
Perhaps the most lasting impression that Stephenson left on the Bills was changing their helmet color from white to red prior to the 1984 season, insisting that the change would aid Buffalo quarterbacks in finding receivers downfield. At the time, three of the Bills' four division rivals, the New England Patriots, Indianapolis Colts, and Miami Dolphins, wore white helmets. The gambit didn't work as interceptions actually increased the subsequent season.Fun and Fashion on the Gridiron
Paul Lukas, ESPN.com Page 2
Stephenson also coached in the World League of American Football, World League where he led the Sacramento Surge to the 1992 World Bowl championship, and in the Canadian Football League he coached the San Antonio Texans and the Edmonton Eskimos.
Head coaching record
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