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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.


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 losing 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 franchise worst 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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247 news items

Mon, 01 Sep 2014 15:25:05 -0700

Bud Carson was immediately smitten with Linda, and in 1973 they married and went on to raise a combined family of four children together. Bud's coaching career soon advanced to the NFL, where he worked in Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, Baltimore, Kansas City ...


Tue, 20 Jan 2015 12:11:37 -0800

I think he will but hopefully the fan base will give him a year to inject his knowledge and plans before sinking him early! Welcome back Mr Trestman......Yoy took us to the afc championship game in 1989 when Bud Carson was our HC lets do it again!! I'm ...
Plain Dealer (blog)
Wed, 22 Sep 2010 08:53:44 -0700

Memorabilia from Bud Carson's glory days as an NFL assistant dominates the collectibles in the office Linda Carson surprised him with on Christmas Eve, 2000. Candid to a fault, he took one look and said, ''Why'd you spend so much money?'' then muttered ...

ABC News

ABC News
Wed, 14 Jan 2015 14:40:41 -0800

These players continued to destroy opposing offenses even after Rich Kotite and Bud Carson took over for Ryan and the defensive coordinator who left with him, Jeff Fisher. For seven straight seasons, from 1988 through 1994, the Eagles ranked in the top ...
From The Rumble Seat
Sat, 27 Dec 2014 08:06:33 -0800

What will Tech show up in for the bowl game? Rumor has it from my fantasy league compatriots that Tech is going to be donning the Throwback Thursday unis. Tech has only worn this color combination 2 times since the Bud Carson Era and is 2-0 since the ...

Baltimore Sun

Baltimore Sun
Sat, 24 Jan 2015 17:01:56 -0800

His strained relationship with former Browns head coach Bud Carson was well documented, and the Browns fired Trestman in early 1990 on his wedding day. His one season as the Miami Dolphins' assistant head coach under Dave Wannstedt in 2004 also ...

The Olympian

The Olympian
Fri, 09 Jan 2015 21:03:07 -0800

He brought to Tampa Bay the zone-coverage concepts Pittsburgh's defensive coordinator in the '70s, Bud Carson, used with those famed Steelers. When Jon Gruden replaced Dungy in 2002 the concept stayed. That 2002 Bucs team was the second one to ...
Sat, 10 Jan 2015 15:15:00 -0800

He was promoted to offensive coordinator in 1989 before Bud Carson was hired as head coach. Bernie Kosar threw 18 touchdown passes and passed for 3,533 yards. Webster Slaughter set a franchise record (since broken by Braylon Edwards and Josh ...

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