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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)
1966 Georgia Tech (DC)
1967–1971 Georgia Tech
1972 Pittsburgh Steelers (DB)
1973–1977 Pittsburgh Steelers (DC)
1978–1981 Los Angeles Rams (DC)
1982 Baltimore Colts (DC)
1983 Kansas City Chiefs (DC/DB)
1985–1988 New York Jets (DC)
1989–1990 Cleveland Browns
1991–1994 Philadelphia Eagles (DC)
1997 St. Louis Rams (DC)
Head coaching record
Overall 27–27 (college)
Bowls 1–1

Leon H. "Bud" Carson (April 28, 1930 – December 7, 2005) was an American football player and coach. He served as the head football coach at the Georgia Institute of Technology from 1967 to 1971, compiling a record of 27–27. Carson then coached in the National Football League (NFL), mostly as a defensive coordinator. He was a member of two Super Bowl-winning teams with the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 1970s. Carson served as the head coach of the Cleveland Browns from 1989 until he was fired midway through the 1990 season.


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.

Head coaching record[edit]


Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs Coaches# AP°
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (NCAA University Division independent) (1967–1971)
1967 Georgia Tech 4–6
1968 Georgia Tech 4–6
1969 Georgia Tech 4–6
1970 Georgia Tech 9–3 W Sun 17 13
1971 Georgia Tech 6–6 L Peach
Georgia Tech: 27–27
Total: 27–27
#Rankings from final Coaches Poll.
°Rankings from final AP Poll.


  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.

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bud_Carson — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.

368 news items

Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia

Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia
Sun, 07 Feb 2016 11:13:49 -0800

Three very highly regarded defensive names followed as Eagles defensive coordinator — Bud Carson ran the defense under Rich Kotite, Emmitt Thomas under Ray Rhodes and Jim Johnson under Andy Reid. When Johnson died tragically after the 2008 ...

Philly.com (blog)

Philly.com (blog)
Mon, 08 Feb 2016 09:52:08 -0800

Guy. They didn't have a great D under Buddy Ryan. Check the stats. They had an above average D in 1989 and the rest of the years they were pretty pedestrian. They had a GREAT D under Bud Carson in 1991.

Wall Street Journal

Wall Street Journal
Mon, 25 Jan 2016 16:34:59 -0800

Many Giants fans think fondly of defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo this time of year. After all, he was the architect of one of the great game plans in football history, the one that propelled the team to a stunning upset over the unbeaten New ...

Slate Magazine

Slate Magazine
Fri, 22 Jan 2016 15:23:56 -0800

In response to a query about passing legendary Steelers coach Chuck Noll on the all-time wins list, the coach said 644 words about his admiration for Noll, an answer that made reference to former Pittsburgh assistant coaches Rollie Dotsch, Bud Carson, ...


Fri, 12 Feb 2016 06:03:45 -0800

This is probably not what you want to hear right now, but it is time to go outside and prune your fruit trees. I realize that slogging through the snow and trying to cut branches in the cold is not ideal, but all of those fantastic apples and pears ...


The Advocate
Wed, 27 Jan 2016 09:18:41 -0800

Just one of those real sharp veteran coaches that has really worked going back to Bud Carson with the Eagles.” Unlike last year's Senior Bowl, when the Saints still had plenty of moves to make on the coaching staff and in the front office, New Orleans ...

Canton Repository

Canton Repository
Fri, 22 Jan 2016 10:23:43 -0800

His father was a Cleveland assistant under Bud Carson in 1989 and 1990 and under Bill Belichick in 1991 and 1992. Hunter Jr. is fighting through his own stormy weather, having been fired by the Colts last week. Hunter's far-flung résumé includes four ...


Wed, 20 Jan 2016 09:51:47 -0800

Haven't seen that in a DC around here in quite some time. Hopefully he can bring back a defense similar to the ones we had under some other great DCs in Birds history, like Marion Campbell, Bud Carson, and Jim Johnson. May the Schwartz be with us!

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