December 23, 2023
Chan Gailey Named 2022 Alabama Football Legend
MONTGOMERY – Chan Gailey, who won a national championship and coached in four Super Bowls, has been named the 2022 Alabama Football Legend, presented by Regions Bank. The award is given annually to a person who has made a significant contribution to college football in the state of Alabama.
Gailey will be honored at the Alabama Football Legend luncheon at the 2022 Camellia Bowl on Monday, Dec. 26 at noon at the Renaissance Hotel in downtown Montgomery.
“Chan Gailey had a long, distinguished career in college football and the NFL,” said Johnny Williams, executive director of the Camellia Bowl. “He had so much on-the-field success with a national championship at Troy and coaching in four Super Bowls. I am pleased to recognize his many accomplishments as the 2022 Alabama Football Legend.”
Gailey is the eighth recipient of the award, and the second with ties to Troy University. Former Troy head coach Larry Blakeney was honored in 2019. The past recipients are Bobby Bowden (2014), Pat Dye (2015), Woodrow Lowe (2016), Gene Stallings (2017), Johnny Davis (2018), Blakeney (2019) and Woody McCorvey (2021). There was no awards luncheon in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Anytime you get an honor like this, it’s very humbling,” Gailey said. “I appreciate my time in the state of Alabama and all the things we accomplished while in Alabama. I am blessed to join this group of coaches that have received this honor.”
Gailey led Troy to the 1984 NCAA Division II National Championship and coached in four Super Bowls with the Denver Broncos and Pittsburgh Steelers.
He coached for seven different NFL teams during his 46-year career, including head coaching stints with the Dallas Cowboys and Buffalo Bills.
Gailey was head coach at Troy in 1983-84. He had previously served as the Trojans defensive backs coach from 1976-78.
In 1984, Troy finished with a 12-1 record and won the NCAA Division II National Championship. The Trojans won the Gulf South Conference with a 7-1 league record. Troy defeated Central State (Ohio) 31-21 in the quarterfinals. The next week, Troy demolished Towson State 45-3 to reach the championship game.
The Trojans capped its national championship season with some late-game heroics in an 18-17 win over North Dakota State. Ted Clem’s 50-yard field goal with 1:03 left gave the Trojans the national title in McAllen, Texas.
Gailey was named the 1984 Gulf South Conference Coach of the Year. His quarterback Mike Turk was the GSC Freshman of the Year. Turk is currently the Athletic Director and Head Football Coach at Huntington College.
Gailey was inducted into the Troy Sports Hall of Fame in 2013.
In addition to Troy, Gailey also had stints at Florida (1974-75) and Air Force (1979-82) as an assistant coach.
He also served as the head coach at Samford (1993) and Georgia Tech (2002-07).
He led Tech to the ACC Coastal Championship in 2006, before falling to Wake Forest in the ACC Championship Game. The Yellow Jackets win nine games and played in the Gator Bowl.
In the professional ranks, he was an assistant coach with the Denver Broncos (1985-90) before taking the head coaching duties of the Birmingham Fire (1991-92) in the World League of American Football. The Fire made the WLAF playoffs in both seasons.
While at Denver, he worked for Dan Reeves and helped the Broncos to three Super Bowl appearances, including Super Bowl XXI, Super Bowl XXII and Super Bowl XXIV.
After the one-year stint at Samford, Gailey returned to the NFL with the Pittsburgh Steelers (1994-97) serving as offensive coordinator the final two seasons. The Steelers won the AFC Central Division all four years and played in Super Bowl XXX.
Gailey was the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys in 1998-99. He led the Cowboys to a 10-6 record and the NFC Championship in 1998. Dallas made the NFL Playoffs both years under Gailey.
He was the Miami Dolphins offensive coordinator in 2000-2001.
After his stint at Georgia Tech, Gailey returned to the NFL, where he was the Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator in 2008.
He served as the Buffalo Bills head coach in 2010-12. He wrapped up his coaching career as offensive coordinator with the New York Jets (2015-16) and Dolphins (2020).
He was inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in 2018.
A native of Gainesville, Ga., Gailey attended Americus High School, where he was an all-state quarterback his senior year. He attended the University of Florida, where he played for Doug Dickey from 1971-73. He earned his bachelor’s degree in physical education in 1974.
He and his wife, Laurie, will celebrate their 50th anniversary in March, 2023. They have two sons, Tate and Andrew, and five grandsons.