Buster Ramsey

Buster Ramsey

Illustration from a football card of Ramsey in a red jersey with the number 20 on the front

Ramsey on a 1950 Bowman football card
No. 20
Position: Guard, linebacker
Personal information
Date of birth: (1920-03-16)March 16, 1920
Place of birth: Townsend, Tennessee
Date of death: September 16, 2007(2007-09-16) (aged 87)
Place of death: Signal Mountain, Tennessee
Height: 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight: 219 lb (99 kg)
Career information
High school: Knoxville (TN)
College: William & Mary
NFL Draft: 1943 / Round: 14 / Pick: 124
Career history
As player:
As coach:
Career highlights and awards
Head coaching record
Regular season: 11–16–1 (.411)
Player stats at PFR
Coaching stats at PFR

Garrard Sliger "Buster" Ramsey (March 16, 1920 September 16, 2007) was an American football player who starred at William and Mary and was the first head coach of the American Football League's Buffalo Bills in 1960. Prior to coaching the Bills, and after a stint in the United States Navy during World War II, Ramsey played for the Chicago Cardinals of the National Football League (NFL) from 1946 to 1951 and a member of the 1947 NFL Champions. In 1951, Ramsey became a player-coach for the Cardinals before becoming the defensive coach for the Detroit Lions in 1952. During his tenure with the Lions, Ramsey is credited with devising the 4-3 defense, a staple of modern football, and being the first coach to blitz linebackers, a package he called Red Dog. The Lions won three World Championships in the 1950s with Ramsey running the defense. He developed Lions greats such as Yale Lary, Jack Christiansen, Jim David, and many others. In 1960, he was lured to the new AFL as coach of the Buffalo Bills. Though fired by Bills' owner Ralph C. Wilson Jr. after the 1961 AFL season, Ramsey is credited for laying the foundation of one of the best defensive teams in the history of the AFL. He also had a brother, Knox Ramsey, who also starred for the College of William and Mary, the Chicago Cardinals, and the Washington Redskins. Ramsey was elected into the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame in 1974, and the College Football Hall of Fame in 1978.

See also


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