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This Birthday in Buffalo Sports History: Joe D'Alessandris

    (Born April 29, 1954) -- The Buffalo Bills' offensive line had a much better year in 2011 than anyone could hoped to have. All right, maybe Joe D'Alessandris knew better. He's the team's offensive line coach.

   The veteran coach made Buffalo the 14th stop in his coaching career, and he's hoping he can stay put for a while.

   D'Alessandris has spent 36 years in the coaching business, with 27 of them coming in the coaching ranks. A professional connection with Chan Gailey proved crucial to D'Alessandris' promotion in Buffalo.

   D'Alessandris first met Gailey in 1983 when Gailey was head coach at Troy and D'Alessandris was offensive coordinator at Livingston (now known as West Alabama University). Three years later, D'Alessandris joined current Bills' general manager Buddy Nix's staff at Tennessee-Chattanooga.

   "I was offensive coordinator and offensive line coach the first two years, then I was offensive line coach the next two years," D'Alessandris said.

   Gailey reached out to D'Alessandris again when Gailey was at Georgia Tech from 2002 to
2007. Then it was on to Kansas City for the duo, as Gailey landed the job of offensive
coordinator for the Chiefs in 2008. Finally in 2010, both men landed here.

--- Budd Bailey

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