Coach Marv Levy

by Mike Magers


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Coach Marv Levy’s connection to New Mexico is when he served as head football coach of University of New Mexcio in 1958 and 1959, after serving as an assistant coach there since 1954.

He was born in Chicago, Illinois on August 3, 1925 and graduated from South Shore High School in 1943.  Following his graduation, he enlisted in the Army Air Corps where he served for the duration of World War II.  Upon his discharge in 1946, he enrolled at Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa where he was a three sport letter winner in basketball, track and football while earning a degree in English literature.  He obtained a master’s degree in English history from Harvard University after graduating from Coe College.

A football coach with degrees in English literature and history may be something of a rarity in pro football but his mother read English literature from such authors as Shakespeare, Keats and Milton.

His first coaching job was at the high school level when he was a baskeball and football coach at St. Louis Country Day.  Following this, he began his college coaching career by returning to his alma mater, Coe College, as an assistant and head coach.  He then transitioned in 1954 to University of New Mexico where he was an assistant until being named head coach of the Lobos in 1958.  In his two years as head coach, the Lobos earned a record of 14-6, going 7-3 each year with strong running back and future All-American Don Perkins.  He left New Mexico for California where he served as head coach from 1960 to 1963 before moving on to the same position at William and Mary until 1968, after which he began his professional football coaching career.

Coach Levy served as an assistant coach with the following teams: Philadelphia Eagles (1969), Los Angeles Rams (1970) under Coach George Allen, and again under Allen with Washington Redskins (1971-1972).  His first head coaching position was with Montreal where he served as head coach of the Alloettes of the Canadian Football League from 1973 to 1977.  His overall record at Montreal was 43-31-4.  In his five seasons with the Alloettes, he took the team to the Grey Cup three times, winning the championship in two of them.  Levy then joined the Kansas City Chiefs of the NFL where he was head coach from 1978 to 1982.  His record in Kansas City was 31-42.  Under Levy, the Chiefs showed improvement each year except for 1982 when the season was interrupted by a player strike.  Except for one season in the USFL when he was head coach of the Chicago Blitz, he was on the sidelines in the interim before signing on in 1986 as head coach of the Buffalo Bills at mid season.

In Buffalo, where he would remain for the rest of his career, Coach Levy had his greatest success, recording 112 wins against 70 losses.  During his tenure, the Bills won the AFC Championships a record four consecutive years, 1990 through 1993, earning the team appearances to the Super Bowls, though they did not win a Super Bowl game.

Coach Levy retired as a head coach after the 1997 season.  His NFL regular season record was 143-112.  His teams went 11-8 in the playoffs bringing his overall record in the NFL to 154-120 in his 17 seasons with the NFL.

His 154 career wins rank 21st in the NFL, a very respectable place on the list.  His impact on the Buffalo club is quite dramatic.  The Bills have had only four winning seasons in the twenty years since Levy retired.  Their all time record as of 2017 is 414-475.  Without regard to Levy’s wins and losses, the team record drops to 302-405.

His honors include being named to the Buffalo Bills’ Wall of Fame.  Levy holds the club record in Buffalo for most wins at 112.  He was twice named UPI’s NFL Coach of the Year and once named the Sporting News Coach of the Year.  He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2001 and the New Mexico Sports Hall of Fame in its 2016 class.

Levy now lives with his family in Chicago but makes it back to Buffalo occasionally for Bills games.  He also has written at least four books and feels that he may have more books inside him.  Even now when he is in his 90s, no one doubts that he could do it.


Cody Ross, MLB

by Mike Magers


Cody Ross grew up in Carlsbad, Eddy County, New Mexico where he was a great baseball player for coach Thomas Forni.  He was drafted to play Major League Baseball right out of high school.  Many players go their whole careers and don’t get to experience playing in a World Series game, but Carlsbad rejoiced and declared a Cody Ross Day when Cody not only played in the series but was a member of the winning San Francisco Giants team when they took the series in 2010.

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Robin Cole, NFL

by Mike Magers


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Robin Cole was born in Los Angeles, California in 1955 and played football at University of New Mexico from 1973 to 1976.  At UNM, his career statistics rank highly in many categories.  The following are just a few of them.  In career tackles, his 406 tackles place him at 5th, just behind Brian Urlacher, his career sacks at 36 rank him second behind Johnny Jackson.  He is highly ranked in career fumble recoveries, career fumbles caused and also season records for most of these categories.

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Duane Ward

by Mike Magers


Duane Ward was born May 28, 1964 in Park View, New Mexico and played at Farmington High School.  Some of you probably already knew where Park View is located, but a quick search will place it in Rio Arriba County in northern New Mexico and a note that it now goes by the name of Los Ojos.

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Sam Lacey

by Mike Magers

Sam Lacey was a 6’10” center in the NBA for 13 seasons.  He played most of his career with the Kansas City Kings, now located in Sacramento, California.  After a successful college career at New Mexico State University, he was drafted 5th overall by the Cincinnati Royals in 1970.  This is the same franchise that evolved into the Kansas City-Omaha Kings in 1972-73, later changing the name to the Kansas City Kings, as they existed all of Lacey’s career with the club.


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