Chan Gailey

Cumulative stats (All positions)

Years Coached Wins / Losses / Ties Win % Playoff wins / Playoff losses Playoff win % Championship wins
20 173-145-1 54.23% 12-11 52.17% 0

Coaching Tree


Chan Gailey has spent much of his football career in the south. He was born in Gainesville, Georgia and attended high school at Americus High School in Americus, Georgia. He grew up as an athlete. Gailey was an all-state selection for the Panthers at quarterback.

He went on to play quarterback at the University of Florida under Doug Dickey as head coach from 1971 to 1973. Gailey studied physical education during his time as a Gator and earned a bachelor’s degree in the subject in 1974. The Gators went 16-17 during Gailey’s time under center.

He stayed with the Gators after graduation as a graduate assistant for two years before moving on to become the defensive backs coach for the Troy University Trojans in 1976.

He spent two seasons as the defensive backs coach with Troy before going to the Air Force Academy to assume the same position for two years with the Fighting Falcons. Gailey spent the second half of his time at Air Force as the team’s defensive coordinator under head coach Ken Hatfield.

Gailey spent a total of four years with Air Force before going back to Troy as the team’s head coach. His first year at the helm was the 1983-84 season, the same season the Trojans went 12-1 and took home the NCAA Division II National Championship. It was Ted Clem’s 50-yard field goal that gave Troy its first national title since 1968. Billy Atkins led Troy to the NAIA title that year with an 11-1 record in 1968.

The Trojans defeated North Dakota State for the championship in 1984 in McAllen, Texas. “The Kick,” as it’s known in Troy football circles almost didn’t happen. The kicking team was rushed onto the field to attempt the then record-setting field goal. The ball was kicked just as the final horn blared and it split the uprights.

Gailey spent another year with Troy before accepting a defensive assistant and special teams coaching role with the Denver Broncos in 1985. In his six years with the Broncos, the team made three Super Bowl appearances and was the team’s wide receivers and tight ends coach for the 1987 AFC Championship game, better known as ‘The Drive.’

The Drive are two words that cause Cleveland Browns fans heartache to this day. John Elway had five minutes and 32 seconds to play in the game to march 98 yards for the game-winning touchdown. He did just that and the Broncos advanced to Super Bowl XXI in Pasadena, California at the Rose Bowl.

The New York Giants defeated Denver 39-20 behind head coach Bill Parcells. This Super Bowl loss did not discourage the Broncos, as it won the AFC three of the next four years but did not win a championship in the time Gailey coached with the team.

Gailey became the Broncos’ quarterbacks coach for two years before a promotion bumped him up to offensive coordinator. He stayed as the head of the offensive unit for just one season before a head coaching opportunity opened up in Birmingham, Alabama with the Birmingham Fire of the newly formed World League of American Football.

The league included 10 teams from North America, United Kingdom, Spain and Germany. Gailey coached the Fire to playoff appearances in the two seasons the league existed. It folded in 1992.

From Birmingham, he became the head coach of the Samford University Bulldogs for a singular season in 1993. The next season, he returned to the NFL with the Pittsburgh Steelers as its wide receivers’ coach. He was the receivers coach for three seasons until in 1996, when he became the teams’ offensive coordinator. The Steelers won the division all four years he was in Pittsburgh. Gailey stayed in that position for two years when he became the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys, taking over in 1998 for a Barry Switzer-coached team that wasn’t living up to standard.

Gailey was the Dallas head coach for only two seasons, but he remains the only head coach in Dallas Cowboys history to make the playoffs in each season of his tenure. His teams did not win a single playoff game.

After getting the axe in Dallas, Gailey became the offensive coordinator of the Miami Dolphins for the 2000 and 2001 seasons. Miami went 11-5 in both seasons and made the playoffs both years. The Dolphins won its first round game in 2000 over the Colts before losing to Oakland in the divisional round. However, in 2001, the Dolphins lost to Baltimore 20-3.

Gailey then became the head coach of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, where he coached the team for six years and compiled a 44-32 record. His teams played in a bowl game in every one of his six seasons at the reigns in Atlanta.

The Yellow Jackets won the Humanitarian Bowl in 2003 and the Champs Sports Bowl in 2004. Gailey coached Georgia Tech to a first-place finish in the Atlantic Coastal Conference-Coastal division in 2006, the same year the team lost the Gator Bowl.

In January 2008, Gailey was hired for the offensive coordinator position for the Kansas City Chiefs under head coach Todd Haley. It was not a good stint for Gailey, as he was revoked of his play-calling duties after three preseason games.

He didn’t coach in 2009, but was hired as the head coach of the Buffalo Bills for the 2010 season. The Bills went 4-12 that year and finished last in the AFC East division. 2011 saw a brighter year for Buffalo, when the team went 6-10, but again finished last in the division.


Year Franchise Position Wins / Losses / Ties Playoff wins / Playoff losses Championship win
2016 New York Jets Offensive Coordinator 5-11-0 0-0
2015 New York Jets Offensive Coordinator 10-6-0 0-0
2012 Buffalo Bills Head Coach 6-10-0 0-0
2011 Buffalo Bills Head Coach 6-10-0 0-0
2010 Buffalo Bills Head Coach 4-12-0 0-0
2008 Kansas City Chiefs Offensive Coordinator 2-14-0 0-0
2001 Miami Dolphins Offensive Coordinator 11-5-0 0-1
2000 Miami Dolphins Offensive Coordinator 11-5-0 1-1
1999 Dallas Cowboys Head Coach 8-8-0 0-1
1998 Dallas Cowboys Head Coach 10-6-0 0-1
1997 Pittsburgh Steelers Offensive Coordinator 11-5-0 1-1
1996 Pittsburgh Steelers Offensive Coordinator 10-6-0 1-1
1995 Pittsburgh Steelers Wide Receivers Coach 11-5-0 2-1
1994 Pittsburgh Steelers Wide Receivers Coach 12-4-0 1-1
1990 Denver Broncos Offensive Coordinator / Wide Receivers Coach 5-11-0 0-0
1989 Denver Broncos Offensive Coordinator / Wide Receivers Coach 11-5-0 2-1
1988 Denver Broncos Quarterbacks Coach 8-8-0 0-0
1987 Denver Broncos Tight Ends Coach / Wide Receivers Coach 10-4-1 2-1
1986 Denver Broncos Special Teams Coach / Tight Ends Coach 11-5-0 2-1
1985 Denver Broncos Special Teams Coach / Tight Ends Coach 11-5-0 0-0