Known As: Coach Buff
Patriot’s Assistant Coach: 1978-1980
Rick Buffington, (Coach Buff as he is known), has been involved with sports management, organized football, personnel, consulting and training for several decades. Rick processes a vast wealth of sports knowledge, expertise and experience. At 5 years old, Rick was run over by a car while living in the country. Back then they didn’t wait for an ambulance, so they threw him in the same car and rushed to the hospital. He had two broken legs and when they healed, he found that his legs were very strong and that catapulted him to continuously run, and run every day and everywhere. At 15 Buff joined the Durfee, (Fall River, MA), high school team and began his football journey. He went to Brigham Young University in 1963 and was on the freshman football team. College was interrupted when he was drafted, (there was a war going on then), and he had to join the Navy. Later he returned to BYU. Buff played for many teams in the years to come, in fact 19, in different minor pro football leagues, the Eastern Football League, New England Football League, the Boston Park League and three Atlantic Coast Football league, (NFL farm teams, Rhode Island Steelers, Bridgeport Jets, Lowell Giants). In 1987 Rick was inducted into the MINOR PRO FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME with John Unitas and Billy Kilmer. While working a summer job, (1964), in the Boston area, Rick had the opportunity to work with the legendary comedian, Jimmy Durante.
Rick started his coaching career when he left college in 1968 and became the head coach of Bristol College, in Fall River, MA. Later in 1973-76, he started the North-Tri Attleboro Kings of the Eastern Football League as general manager/head coach. In 1976 Coach Buff was hired as a part time scout by Mike Holovak with the New York Jets. When Coach Holovak became interim head coach at the end of the 1977 season Rick became his assistant. In 1978 Coach Holovak joined the New Engalnd Patriots in the scouting department, and Rick was hired by Scouting Director Bucko Kilroy as a scout. Later in 1978 Buff was promoted to the Patriots coaching staff under Ron Erhardt where he worked with renowned coaches, Raymond Berry, Jim Ringo, Bill Parcells, Fritz Shurmur, Tom Yewcic, Gino Cappelletti, Hank Bullough and Babe Parilli. In 1982-83 Coach Buff became assistant coach with the USFL New Jersey Generals under Chuck Fairbanks and helped start the pro football career of Herschel Walker. 1983-84 Rick joined the USFL Pittsburgh Maulers as the Director of Pro and College scouting. In 1987-88, with the beginning of the Arena Football League, Coach Buff joined the New England Steamrollers and Babe Parilli. 1989 brought the AFL together without owners and Rick and Babe coached the Denver Dynamite as the league barnstormed all over the country with five teams to keep the league alive.
1990, Coach Buff received his first professional head coaching position in starting the AFL Albany, (NY) Firebirds. After four years in Albany, 1994, Rick again joined Babe Parilli with the AFL Las Vegas Sting. !n 1995, Buff became the General Manager/Head Coach of the AFL Connecticut Coyotes. In 1996 He became the head coach of the AFL Charlotte Rage. 1997 he again joined Coach Parilli with the Florida Bobcats, and Rick became Bobcats head coach in 1998 when Babe retired. 1999 Rick Joined the Milwaukee Mustangs and in 2000, returned to take over the Florida Bobcats as General Manager.
Coach Buff has also been head coach for the 2002 AFL2 New Haven Ninjas, 2004 AFL2 Albany Conquest, the 2007 CIFL New England Surge and the 2017 CAFL Boston Blaze.
In 2007, Rick became a member of the New England Patriots Alumni Club, and now continues participating in youth clinics, charitable functions, and speaking events. EA Sports created an Arena Football game using Coach Buff’s material.