The Month of January In Bills History
Important dates in Buffalo Bills history
January 1, 1960 -- FIRST-EVER PICK SIGNS WITH BILLS
The Bills' first-ever draft choice, QB Richie Lucas from Penn State, signed a three-year contract with Buffalo
January 1, 1963 -- WILSON NAMED "GOOD FELLOW OF THE YEAR"
Bills owner Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. was named "Good Fellow of the Year" by the Buffalo Courier Express.
January 1, 1967 - BILLS LOSE AFL CHAMPIONSHIP
The Bills failed in their bid to win a third straight AFL championship, falling 31-7 to the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFL Championship Game at War Memorial Stadium. With the loss, Buffalo also missed out on the opportunity to represent the AFL in Super Bowl I.
January 1, 1976 -- SIMPSON AFC PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Bills RB O.J. Simpson was named AFC Player of the Year for 1975 by United Press International.
January 2, 1963 -- NFL No. 1 PICK SIGNED BY BILLS
Defensive tackle Jim Dunaway, a No. 1 pick of the NFL's Minnesota Vikings, signed with the Bills. He was the first lineman chosen in the NFL draft.
January 2, 1966 -- SABAN RESIGNS
Lou Saban, AFL Coach of the Year in 1964 and '65, resigned to accept the head coaching job at the University of Maryland.
January 2, 1980 -- JERRY BUTLER AFC ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
Bills WR Jerry Butler was named 1979 AFC Rookie of the Year by United Press International and The Sporting News.
January 2, 1999 -- BILLS LOSE WILD CARD PLAYOFF, 24-17
Buffalo lost a heart-breaking AFC Wild Card playoff game to the Dolphins in Miami. Bills QB Doug Flutie was sacked deep in Dolphins territory in the game's final minute, preserving the 24-17 Miami win.
January 3, 1963 -- SABAN'S CONTRACT EXTENDED
Head Coach Lou Saban was given a two-year contract extension.
January 3, 1966 -- JACK KEMP NAMED AFL PLAYER OF THE YEAR
QB Jack Kemp was named 1965 AFL Player of the Year by United Press International.
January 3, 1993 -- BILLS EXECUTE GREATEST COMEBACK IN NFL HISTORY
The Bills came back from a 32-point deficit in the second half to win an AFC Wild Card game over the Houston Oilers at Rich Stadium. Buffalo was down 28-3 at halftime and Houston scored a TD early in the second half to lead 35-3 before the Bills made their comeback and won the game 41-38 in overtime on Steve Christie's 32-yard field goal.
January 3, 1998 -- WADE PHILLIPS NAMED NEW BILLS HEAD COACH
GM John Butler introduced Wade Phillips as Buffalo's 11th head coach.
January 4, 1960 -- BOB DOVE NAMED BILLS ASSISTANT COACH
Bob Dove was the first assistant coach hired by Buster Ramsey. The two men had worked together with the Detroit Lions.
January 4, 1962 -- BILLS MAKE HEAD COACHING CHANGE
Buster Ramsey was fired as head coach. "This came as a shock to me, so I haven't made any plans," Ramsey said. "I still think I can do the job as head coach under the right setup."
January 4, 1970 -- STEW BARBER RETIRES
Buffalo offensive tackle Stew Barber, who signed his first pro contract with the Bills on this date in 1961, announced his retirement. He was a five-time AFL all-star.
January 4, 1974 - O.J. NAMED PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Bills RB O.J. Simpson was named the NFL's Player of the Year for 1973 by the Associated Press.
January 5, 1971 -- DENNIS SHAW NAMED NFL ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
Bills quarterback Dennis Shaw was named the consensus NFL Rookie of the Year, beating out Dallas's Duane Thomas and Oakland's Raymond Chester.
January 5, 1981 -- CHUCK KNOX NAMED COACH OF THE YEAR
Buffalo Bills head coach Chuck Knox was named 1980 AFC Coach of the Year by United Press International and The Sporting News.
January 6, 1966 -- JOE COLLIER NAMED HEAD COACH
Assistant coach Joe Collier was named as the Bills' new head coach. At the age of 33, he became the youngest head coach in pro football.
January 6, 1984 -- FREEMAN NAMED ALL-PRO
Buffalo DB Steve Freeman was named to the 1983 Sporting News All-Pro team.
January 6, 1990 -- BILLS' YEAR ENDS ON LAST PLAY
The Bills' 1989 season came to an end when Cleveland Browns LB Clay Matthews intercepted a Jim Kelly pass at the 1-yard line with three seconds left. The Browns won the AFC divisional playoff game at Cleveland Stadium, 34-30.
January 7, 1988 -- BRUCE SMITH AFC DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Buffalo Bills DE Bruce Smith was named the 1987 AFC Defensive Player of the Year by United Press International.
January 8, 1972 -- LOU SABAN HOSPITALIZED
While watching the Hula Bowl in Hawaii, Bills head coach Lou Saban was hospitalized for 11 days with a gall-bladder problem.
January 9, 1991 -- BRUCE SMITH NAMED 1990 NFL PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Bills DE Bruce Smith was named the Associated Press' NFL Defensive Player of the Year for 1990. The National Sports Daily named Smith its NFL MVP, and United Press International named him their AFC Defensive Player of the Year.
January 10, 2001 -- TOM DONAHOE IS BILLS' NEW PRESIDENT/GM
Former Pittsburgh Steelers executive Tom Donahoe was hired as Bills president and general manager by owner Ralph Wilson. Donahoe became the eighth general manger in Buffalo Bills history.
January 11, 1966 -- AN ORIGINAL BILL BECOMES A COACH
Former Buffalo defensive back Richie McCabe was named defensive backs coach of the Bills.
January 11, 1978 -- BILLS HIRE CHUCK KNOX
In a surprise move, the Bills announced the signing of former Los Angeles Rams coach Chuck Knox as head coach.
January 12, 1992 -- BILLS WIN AFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
NT Jeff Wright deflected a third-quarter John Elway pass that LB Carlton Bailey intercepted and returned 11 yards for Buffalo's only touchdown, as the Bills defeated the Denver Broncos 10-7 in the AFC Championship Game at Rich Stadium to advance to Super Bowl XXVI.
January 14, 1964 - KEMP'S POLITICAL START
QB Jack Kemp was named the Bills' player representative in the new AFL Players' Association.
January 14, 1970 -- THREE BILLS ON AFL'S ALL-TIME TEAM
Three Bills-G Billy Shaw, DT Tom Sestak and S George Saimes-were named to the all-time AFL all-star team.
January 14, 2004 -- BILLS NAME MIKE MULARKEY HEAD COACH
Former Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey was named the 13th head coach in Bills history.
January 15, 1966 -- BILLS LOSE TO AFL ALL-STARS
The Bills played the AFL all-star team at Houston's Rice Stadium and lost 30-19.
January 15, 1986 - PATRICK McGRODER DIES
Former Bills executive Patrick McGroder dies in Scottsdale, AZ after a short illness. The former Bills senior vice president, and Wall of Famer, was 81.
January 16, 1968 -- BILLS LOSE FIVE TO BENGALS
HB Bobby Burnett, OT Gary Bugenhagen, DT Rick Zecher, DB Charley King and C Bob Schmidt were claimed by Cincinnati in the AFL expansion draft.
January 16, 1973 -- HILL ADDED TO PRO BOWL TEAM
Bills WR J.D. Hill was named to the AFC Pro Bowl team, joining teammates RB O.J. Simpson and CB Robert James.
January 16, 1998 -- BILLS SIGN DOUG FLUTIE FROM CFL
The Bills signed free agent QB Doug Flutie from the Canadian Football League.
January 17, 1966 -- BILLS LOSE 4 IN EXPANSION DRAFT
In the 1966 AFL expansion draft, the Miami Dolphins picked four players off the Buffalo roster. The players were: FB Billy Joe, flanker Bo Roberson, former No. 1 draft choice T Jim Davidson and DE Howard Simpson.
January 17, 1969 -- JOHN RAUCH HIRED BY BUFFALO
John Rauch resigned as Oakland head coach and agreed to a four-year contract for the same post with the Bills.
January 17, 1985 -- GREG BELL GETS AN AWARD
RB Greg Bell was named the Seagram Sports Award 1984 Rookie of the Year.
January 17, 1987 -- WILL WOLFORD NAMED AN ALL-STAR
Buffalo OL Will Wolford named to United Press International's 1986 all-rookie team.
January 17, 1989 -- MARV LEVY NAMED 1988 COACH OF THE YEAR
Bills head coach Marv Levy was named the NFL's 1988 Coach of the Year by The Sporting News.
January 17, 1993 -- BILLS TOP MIAMI 29-10 IN AFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
The Bills qualified for their third straight Super Bowl by defeating Miami 29-10 the AFC Championship Game before the largest crowd in Joe Robbie Stadium history (72,703).
January 17, 1995 -- MARV LEVY HIRES WADE PHILLIPS
Bills head coach Marv Levy hired former Denver Broncos head coach Wade Phillips as the team's new defensive coordinator.
January 18, 1962 -- SABAN NAMED NEW BILLS COACH
Lou Saban was named as the second Bills head coach, replacing Buster Ramsey. He signed a one-year contract worth about $20,000.
January 18, 1962 -- BILLS PROMOTE McGRODER
Patrick McGroder was promoted to vice president.
January 18, 1988 -- THREE BILLS NAMED TO ALL-ROOKIE TEAM
Three Bills were named to the United Press International's 1987 all-rookie team. They were: LB Cornelius Bennett, LB Shane Conlan and CB Nate Odomes.
January 19, 1985 -- HANK BULLOUGH NAMED BILLS' DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR
Hank Bullough was hired by the Bills as defensive coordinator and assistant head coach. He was the Cincinnati Bengals' defensive coordinator and helped them get to Super Bowl XVI.
January 20, 1991 -- BILLS BEAT RAIDERS 51-3 AND ADVANCE TO SUPER BOWL XXV
The Bills scored 41 first half points on their way to a 51-3 victory over the Los Angeles Raiders in the 1990 AFC Championship Game at Rich Stadium to advance to Super Bowl XXV.
January 21, 1974 -- AWARDS MOUNT UP FOR O.J.
Running back O.J. Simpson received the Maxwell Award as Pro Football Player of the Year.
January 22, 1985 -- OJ SIMPSON NAMED TO 1985 HALL OF FAME CLASS
Former Bills RB O.J. Simpson was elected the 1985 Pro Football Hall of Fame class, which included QBs Roger Staubach and Joe Namath, NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle and old-time center Frank Gatski. Simpson was the first Buffalo Bill to be elected to the Hall of Fame.
January 23, 1994 -- BILLS WIN FOURTH STRAIGHT AFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
The Bills became the first team in the history of the Super Bowl to reach the championship game four years in a row, as they routed Kansas City 30-13 in the AFC Championship Game at Rich Stadium.
January 24, 1969 - DUBENION BECOMES SCOUT
Former WR Elbert Dubenion and assistant coach Bob Celeri were named full-time scouts and head coach John Rauch indicated they would serve as assistant coaches in training camp.
January 25, 1983 -- CHUCK KNOX RESIGNS
Buffalo head coach Chuck Knox left the Bills to become the head coach of the Seattle Seahawks.
January 25, 1992 -- THURMAN THOMAS NAMED 1991 PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Bills RB Thurman Thomas was named the NFL's Miller Lite Player of the Year for 1991.
January 25, 2003 - HALL CALLS DELAMIELLEURE AND LOFTON
Former Bills G Joe DeLamielleure and former Bills WR James Lofton were elected, along with RB Marcus Allen, DE Elvin Bethea and coach Hank Stram, to the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Class of 2003.
January 26, 1974 -- DENNIS SHAW TRADED
Quarterback Dennis Shaw was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals for wide receiver Ahmad Rashad.
January 26, 1979 -- BOB LUSTIG LEAVES BILLS
Bob Lustig, vice-president and general manager of the Bills, said he would be leaving the team to become CEO of a new insurance company that Ralph Wilson was forming in Detroit.
January 26, 1979 -- STEW BARBER PROMOTED
Former Buffalo Bills OT Stew Barber, who was in the Bills' organization as a college scout, was promoted to vice president in charge of administration. He assumed Bob Lustig's general manager duties.
January 26, 1988 -- SHANE CONLAN NAMED 1987 ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
Bills LB Shane Conlan was named 1987 Defensive Rookie of the Year by the Pro Football Writers of America.
January 26, 1992 -- BILLS LOSE SUPER BOWL XXVI
The Bills lost Super Bowl XXVI to the Washington Redskins 37-24 at the Metrodome in Minneapolis in front of 63,130 fans.
January 27, 1982 -- BOOKER MOORE HAS RECOVERED
Scouting director Norm Pollom announced that FB Booker Moore had completely recovered from Gullain-Barre Syndrome, which caused him to miss the entire 1981 season.
January 27, 1991 -- BILLS LOSE SUPER BOWL XXV
The Bills lost Super Bowl XXV to the NY Giants 20-19 at Tampa Stadium in front of 73,813 fans.
January 27, 1992 -- ANOTHER RALLY IN BUFFALO
A second consecutive 'Welcome Home' rally was held for the Bills in Buffalo, with about 10,000 fans in attendance.
January 27, 2001 -- MARV LEVY IS A HALL OF FAMER
Former Buffalo Bills head coach Marv Levy was selected to the class of 2001 of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, OH.
January 28, 1976 -- BILL ATKINS RESIGNS
Secondary coach Bill Atkins left the Bills to take a similar position with San Francisco 49ers.
January 28, 1977 -- BLIZZARD HITS BUFFALO
The Famous Blizzard of '77 hit Buffalo and Rich Stadium became a home for stranded motorists. Buffalo Bills head coach Jim Ringo and some assistants were at the stadium along with more than two-dozen motorists.
January 28, 1985 -- JIM RINGO COMES BACK TO BILLS
Former Bills head coach and offensive line coach Jim Ringo rejoined the Bills as offensive coordinator and offensive line coach. Ringo left Buffalo after the 1977 season.
January 28, 1991 -- BUFFALO WELCOMES HOME THE BILLS
An estimated crowd of 20,000 people came out to a 'Welcome Home' rally for the Bills on the steps of City Hall. They chanted, "We want Scott! We want Scott!" This was after kicker Scott Norwood missed a 47-yard field goal that would have won Super Bowl XXV for Buffalo; the Bills lost the game, 20-19.
January 28, 1992 -- TED MARCHIBRODA RESIGNS
Bills offensive coordinator Ted Marchibroda resigned his position to become head coach of the Indianapolis Colts.
January 29, 1974 - BILLS SELECT GANT
The Bills selected Oklahoma State TE Reuben Gant with their No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft. Gant was the 18th player taken overall.
January 30, 1994 -- BILLS LOSE SUPER BOWL XXVIII
The Bills lost Super Bowl XXVIII to the Dallas Cowboys 30-13 at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta in front of 72,817 fans.
January 30, 1999 -- BILLY SHAW IS A HALL OF FAMER
Former Buffalo Bills G Billy Shaw is selected to the class of 1999 of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, OH.
January 31, 1981 -- JIM RINGO IS A HALL OF FAMER
Former Buffalo Bills head coach and Green Bay Packers center Jim Ringo was elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 1981.
January 31, 1993 -- BILLS LOSE SUPER BOWL XXVII
The Bills lost Super Bowl XXVII to the Dallas Cowboys, 52-17 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA in front of 98,374 fans.
January 31, 1997 -- JIM KELLY RETIRES
Bills QB Jim Kelly officially announced his retirement from the NFL in a press conference at the Bills Fieldhouse in Orchard Park, NY.