Rick Buffington: Heach Coach
GM/HC, AFL (17 years) - Director of College/Pro Scouting/Coach, USFL (3 years) - Scout/Asst. Coach, New England Patriots, NFL- (4 years), College Head Coach, Bristol College (Overall coaching, 37 years)
Rick Buffington, (“Coach Buff " as he is called), recent head coach of the Albany Conquest and recently had been the General Manager/Head Coach of the New Haven Ninjas of AF2, and formally the General Manager, (2000), of the Florida Bobcats where he also served as Head Coach (98), and Asst. Head Coach in 97. In consecutive years of service in the Arena Football League, Coach Buff served 16 years, adding one more as Head Coach of the New England Surge of the Continental Football League in 2007. He has twice been named to the AFL’s Rules and Competition Committee, and Alternate - Board of Directors. Rick spent the 1999 as Def/Off line - LBs/FBs coach with the Milwaukee Mustangs, (first pro team to start 0-5 and then make playoffs). Before Florida, Buff spent the 1996 AFL season as Head Coach and Director of Football Operations for the Charlotte Rage. Buff was the Head Coach-General Manager for the Connecticut Coyotes in 1995. He came to Connecticut after serving as the Defensive Coordinator for the AFL's Las Vegas Sting in 1994. Las Vegas finished 5-7, best among the three expansion teams and became the first (expansion) team to make the playoffs. The Sting ranked number one in defense, and in the number of points and total yards allowed. Prior to that season, Buff served as the Head Coach - Director of Football Operations of the Albany Firebirds for their first four years. The Firebirds made the playoffs three times, and captured the AFL European championship beating Detroit twice in 1991. Rick also served as Defensive Coordinator and Director of Player Personnel for both the Denver Dynamite, in 89, and New England Steamrollers in 88. In 1987 Rick was inducted into the Minor-Pro Football Hall of Fame with players, Johnny Unitas and Billy Kilmer. As a kickoff punt returner, WR and DB, Rick was with both the New York Jets and New England Patriots organizations in the old Atlantic Coast Football League.
An alumnus of Brigham Young University, he began his coaching career in 1968 as the Head Coach at Bristol (Mass.) Community College. In 1973 he purchased the Tri-Attleboro (Mass.) Kings of the Eastern Football League and served as General Manager and Head Coach for four years. During that time the Kings posted a 37-15 record (.711percent), including a 16-1 mark and the EFL title in 1975. He was twice named Coach of the Year.
In 1976, Buff became a part-time scout for the New York Jets. He was later hired as a full-time scout for the New England Patriots in 1978, and six months later joined the Patriots coaching staff, 1979-81. While with the Patriots, Rick worked alongside top name coaches, Bill Parcells, Chuck Fairbanks, Raymond Berry, Jim Ringo, Fritz Shurmur, Ron Erhardt, and Babe Parilli. In 1982-83 Buff joined the New Jersey Generals of the United States Football League as Head Scout, Special Teams, and Outside Linebackers Coach. He also served as the Director of College and Pro Scouting for the USFL's Pittsburgh Maulers in 1983-84. Buff also has playing experience from 17 different semi-pro and minor-pro football clubs in the old Atlantic Coast and Eastern Football Leagues. A serious golf participant, public speaker, trivia show host, sports broadcaster, and avid runner, Rick ran and finished the Boston Marathon in 1980. Also, while with the Albany Firebirds, Rick worked with the Albany Patrons of the CBA, and George Karl, (Head Coach of the Denver Nuggets). Rick and Susan have been married for 35 years and their daughter Jill graduated from college. Rick has helped many of his assistants and players go on to be head coaches, scouts, assistant coaches, and general managers in the NFL and AFL. Rick is one of the best recruiters of players. He is presently #15 on the all-time coaches wins list, (98 coaches), and holds the record for the lowest scoring game, (Albany 16 – Washington 12, 1990), in AFL history. Rick also has join together with EA Sports, contributing his playbook and expertise for the structure of the 2006 AFL EA Sports Video Game. Coach Buff has accumulated an overall, competitive record of 185-90. Rick went to Durfee HS, (Fall River, MA), where he played football and baseball. At 19, Rick once worked with legendary comedian Jimmy Durante in promotions and today at 66 is an active member of the New England Patriots Alumni Club, conducting youth football clinics, charity golf outings and working with troubled young people. He is a frequent motivational guest speaker for businesses, and sports groups sharing his great football career ride and presenting many of his business organizational ideas.