buffalo bills

Rest In Peace, Special Teams Maven Bruce DeHaven

bruce-dehavenCarolina Panthers special teams coach Bruce DeHaven lost his battle with cancer on Tuesday night in Orchard Park, New York.

The 68-year-old DeHaven was diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer in May 2015 while serving as special teams coach for the Carolina Panthers.

During his near 30-year NFL coaching career, DeHaven made stops in Buffalo (twice), San Francisco, Dallas, Seattle, and Carolina.

His most notable special teams coaching stint came from 1987 to 1999 as a member of the Buffalo Bills coaching staff. From 1987 to 1990, the Bills fielded the NFL’s top kick coverage unit for four straight seasons.

Also, the Bills reached four consecutive Super Bowls from 1990 to 1993. That run featured the special teams stylings of Steve Tasker, who is widely considered one of the great specialists in NFL history.

DeHaven’s final game as Bills special teams coach during that run came in the infamous Music City Miracle game against the Tennessee Titans during the 1999 playoffs.

After Buffalo allowed Kevin Dyson’s kick return for a score on the infamous Home Run Throwback play, DeHaven was fired.

Most recently, DeHaven oversaw Carolina’s vastly improved special teams unit, which helped propel them to Super Bowl 50 last season.

Anytime you can coach for nearly three decades, you must have done something right.

Rest in peace, Coach DeHaven.

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