Through the ages there have been great men who have had a major influence on the people with whom they have come into contact with. One such man is Hall of Fame, former Buffalo Bills Head Coach Marv Levy. Levy, who has a Master’s degree from Harvard, was best known as an intelligent and analytical football coach. Perhaps better suited for the political field rather than the football field, Coach Marv Levy used his Harvard education to motivate and shape the careers and lives of many pro football athletes.
Coach Marv Levy, (more affectionately known to fans and friends simply as Marv) was born in Chicago, Illinois. He attended Coe College in Iowa, where he earned three varsity letters in football, four in track, and one in basketball. After graduating college, Marv Levy entered law school. About three weeks later, he made the decision to drop out of law school to become a football coach. Instead of just another lawyer in the world, the world ended up with one of the greatest football coaches of all time.
Marv Levy was hired as head coach of the Buffalo Bills in 1986 and went on to become the most successful coach in Buffalo Bills history with a 123-78 record. Behind the likes of Jim Kelly, Thurman Thomas, Andre Reed and Bruce Smith, it took Levy only two years to lead the Bills to the AFC Championship game. The Bills would win the eastern division six out of the next eight seasons and make the playoffs in eight out of the next nine years. During that run, Marv Levy and the Bills would become the only team in NFL history to play in four straight Super Bowls from 1991-1994.
According to the future Hall of Fame running back, Thurman Thomas, “Coach Levy is one of the most inspirational people that I have ever known. He helped change our lives on and off the field. I would recommend him to any company or organization that is looking to reach its highest potential.”
After 47 years of coaching, Marv Levy retired in 1997. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in his very first year of eligibility in 2001. He will be remembered not only as the winningest coach in Buffalo Bills history and a Hall of Fame coach, but also as one of the NFL’s classiest individuals. Marv Levy not only molded football players, but he also molded men’s character, class, and pride.