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This Day in Bills History, Dec. 31: Not a happy New Year

Dec. 31, 1997 – Marv Levy sure knew how to spoil a New Year’s Eve party. Bills fans certainly didn’t feel like celebrating after the greatest coach in team history announced his retirement.

Levy was the focus of an emotional, hourlong news conference in which the coach discussed the end of a 12-year tenure with the team.

Levy won more games than any coach in Bills’ history, going 112-70. He also took Buffalo to four straight Super Bowls. That hadn’t been done before, and isn’t likely to be done again in the immediate future.

Levy said later that he probably wasn’t quite ready to retire at that point in his life, and his association with the Bills wasn’t quite done. When Bills’ owner Ralph Wilson needed a general manager in January of 2006, he reached out to Levy again and hired him. Levy spent two years as the Bills’ GM.

The Bills have gone through several coaches in the 20 years since he retired. The team is still hoping to find a worthy successor.

Budd Bailey is a retired sports reporter and editor at The Buffalo News. He is also the author of "Today in Buffalo Sports History." Learn more about the book here.

This is the last entry in this series. Happy New Year!

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