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Bud Carson
Sport(s) Football
Biographical details
Born (1930-04-28)April 28, 1930
Brackenridge, Pennsylvania
Died December 7, 2005(2005-12-07) (aged 75)
Sarasota, Florida
Playing career
1949–1951 North Carolina
Position(s) Defensive back
Coaching career (HC unless noted)









Georgia Tech
(Head Coach)
Pittsburgh Steelers
(Defensive Backs Coach)
Pittsburgh Steelers
(Defensive Coordinator)
Los Angeles Rams
(Defensive Coordinator)
Baltimore Colts
(Defensive Coordinator)
Kansas City Chiefs
(Defensive Coordinator/DB Coach)
New York Jets
(Defensive Coordinator)
Cleveland Browns
(Head Coach)
Philadelphia Eagles
(Defensive Coordinator)
St. Louis Rams
(Defensive Coordinator)
Head coaching record
Overall 27–27
Bowls 1–1

Leon H. "Bud" Carson ((1930-04-28)April 28, 1930 – December 7, 2005(2005-12-07)) was an American football coach best known for his role on the Pittsburgh Steelers' championship teams of the 1970s.


Carson played defensive back for North Carolina from 1949 to 1951, then entered the Marines.


His first coaching job was at Scottdale High School in Southwestern Pennsylvania which he began in 1955.

Georgia Tech[edit]

After his discharge from the Marines, he went into coaching, working at Georgia Tech under head coach Bobby Dodd. Carson took over as head coach in 1967. Under Carson, the Yellow Jackets endured three straight 4-6 seasons before going 9-3 and winning the Sun Bowl in 1970. In 1971, Tech finished 6-6 after a Peach Bowl loss. His dismissal as Head Coach of the Yellow Jackets by James E. Boyd was reported in the Atlanta Constitution under the headline "Bitter Bud Carson Is Ousted at Tech".[citation needed]

In 1970 the GT Band began playing the Budweiser tune after the end of the 3rd quarter. In tribute to the then head coach the words were actually sung as, "When you say Bud Carson, you've said it all!"[citation needed]

While at Georgia Tech, he designed and implemented the "Cover 2" defensive scheme that has been adapted and widely used by the NFL.[citation needed]


Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Chuck Noll hired Carson as defensive backs coach in 1972. He was elevated to defensive coordinator in 1973.[1] Under Carson, the "Steel Curtain" developed as one of the best defenses in National Football League history. The unit, led by Jack Lambert, Mel Blount, Jack Ham and Mean Joe Greene, gave up fewer points than any other American Football Conference team in Pittsburgh's Super Bowl seasons of 1974 and 1975. In 1976, the Curtain gave up fewer than 10 points a game.

After the 1977 season, Carson took over the defensive-coordinator job with the Los Angeles Rams, who lost to the Steelers in Super Bowl XIV. He later served on the coaching staffs of the Kansas City Chiefs and Baltimore Colts before running the New York Jets' defense from 1985 to 1988. He finally landed a head-coaching job with the Cleveland Browns for the 1989 season after Marty Schottenheimer was fired after a wild card playoff loss to the Houston Oilers in 1988.

Cleveland won the AFC Central Division in 1989; however, for the third time in four years, the Browns lost to John Elway's Denver Broncos in the conference championship game 37-21. Browns owner Art Modell fired Carson halfway through the 1990 season, following a 42-0 home loss to the eventual 1990 AFC Champion Buffalo Bills. Browns' offensive coordinator Jim Shofner became head coach and the demoralized Browns finished the season with a 3-13 record. Save for a 13-10 win over the Atlanta Falcons, the Browns were outscored 217-87, including being shutout 35-0 by bitter rival Pittsburgh Steelers and being crushed in a humiliating 58-14 loss to the rival Houston Oilers. In the AFC Central Division rival games, the Browns won on opening day in a defensive gem over the Steelers 13-3, but then the Browns lost their remaining five AFC Central games outscored by combined totals of 183-64. Ironically, the immediate predecessor to Coach Carson and former head coach of the Cleveland Browns Marty Schottenheimer led his Kansas City Chiefs to an 11-5 won-loss record and a wild card playoff appearance in the 1990 NFL season. Adding more insult to injury, the Chiefs defeated the Browns 34-0 in Week Four. Carson returned for successful stints as an assistant coach with the Philadelphia Eagles (his 1991 crew pulled the rare feat of being ranked #1 versus the pass, #1 versus the rush, and #1 overall) and Rams — by then in St. Louis — before retiring in 1997 due to health concerns.


Carson, a long-time smoker, died in 2005 of emphysema.[2] He was married to Linda Carson, an anchorwoman at WDAF in Kansas City, and Sarasota television station WWSB. His daughter Cathi Carson is the sports reporter at two Jacksonville stations in Jacksonville WJAX-TV and WFOX-TV and was formerly a reporter at WWSB. He also had a son, Cliff, and another daughter, Dana, as well as a stepson, Gary Ford. His brother, Gib Carson, is currently owner of Gib Carson Associates, which specializes in manufactured gifts.


  1. ^ Bud Carson Plugs the Dike
  2. ^ "Ex-NFL Coach Bud Carson Dies at 75". Associated Press (Forbes). 2005-12-07. Retrieved 2007-08-10. [dead link]

Further reading[edit]

  • Grossi, Tony (2004). Tales from the Browns Sideline. (Champaign, Ill.): Sports Publishing LLC. ISBN 1-58261-713-9
  • Carroll, Bob, et al. (1999). Total Football II. New York: HarperCollins. ISBN 0-06-270174-6.
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Pittsburgh Steelers Defensive Coordinator
Succeeded by
George Perles
Preceded by
Chuck Weber
Baltimore Colts Defensive Coordinator
Succeeded by
George Hill (vacant until 1985)
Preceded by
Rod Rust
Kansas City Chiefs Defensive Coordinator
Succeeded by
Dan Daniel
Preceded by
Walt Corey
Kansas City Chiefs Defensive Backs Coach
Succeeded by
Doug Graber
Preceded by
Joe Gardi
New York Jets Defensive Coordinator
Succeeded by
Ralph Hawkins
Preceded by
Jeff Fisher
Philadelphia Eagles Defensive Coordinator
Succeeded by
Emmitt Thomas

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bud_Carson — Please support Wikipedia.
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288 news items

The Augusta Chronicle

The Augusta Chronicle
Mon, 23 Nov 2015 20:15:34 -0800

Bud Carson recruited him to play, but he left before Price began in 1972. After playing his first season for coach Bill Fulcher, Price redshirted as a guard his sophomore season. He wondered then if he'd ever play again. But Price dedicated himself to ...


Thu, 19 Nov 2015 15:15:00 -0800

He started his college coaching career at Western Kentucky in 1967 before Bud Carson, the head coach at Georgia Tech, called and he came to Atlanta and stayed three years as a defensive assistant. But in 1974, Tech brought in Pepper Rodgers, who ...


Thu, 19 Nov 2015 21:03:45 -0800

Besides Lewis, Bobby Ross, Bill Curry, Pepper Rodgers, Bill Fulcher and Bud Carson all endured at least one winless season on the road. That's every Tech coach after Bobby Dodd, with the exception of George O'Leary and Chan Gailey. Before this season ...

Washington Post

Miami Herald
Sun, 15 Nov 2015 18:03:45 -0800

There are plenty of reasons to fire someone. But now is not the time. Interim coaches like Jim Shofner, who went 1-6 in replacing Bud Carson in 1990, and Terry Robiskie, 1-4 after Butch Davis's panic attack in 2004, have shown that accomplishes nothing.

Rochester Democrat and Chronicle

Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
Wed, 04 Nov 2015 02:00:38 -0800

Each week during the 2015 season, Sal Maiorana — who in 1990 was in his first year as the Democrat and Chronicle's Bills beat reporter — is reflecting on the magnificent journey to Buffalo's first Super Bowl appearance. Each Wednesday, Maiorana will ...

Vicksburg Post

Vicksburg Post
Tue, 03 Nov 2015 08:07:38 -0800

On an overcast and damp Monday evening the people of Vicksburg gathered to welcome Navy veteran Chris Ring to town as a stop on his journey swimming the entire length of the Mississippi River. His goal is to inform the public about Gold Star families ...
Tue, 10 Nov 2015 21:37:30 -0800

After the Steelers' 16-10 loss to the Bengals, Tribune-Review columnist Rob Rossi tells CineSport's Brian Clark how Ben Roethlisberger did not deliver, and what the Bengals showed the Steelers.

Dawg Pound Daily

Dawg Pound Daily
Tue, 03 Nov 2015 06:05:23 -0800

Terry Robiskie went 1-4 after taking over for Butch Davis in 2004; Jim Shofner went 1-6 after taking over for Bud Carson in 1990. Those moves certainly paid off, didn't they? Knowing that, what evidence is there that naming someone currently on the ...

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