Former Bills TE Ernie Warlick (1962-65) sadly passed away Saturday. His health had been deteriorating for the past 18 months and he had been in the hospital this past week.
Bills Alumni Association President and former Warlick teammate Booker Edgerson spoke to Buffalobills.com.
“I know he’s gone to a better place and I hope that his family will carry on and keep his legacy rolling,” Edgerson said. “Our alumni group will do as much as we can to uphold the things that he had done in the Buffalo area and across Western New York. He will definitely be missed.”
Making his home in Western New York after his playing days were over, Warlick’s dedicated work as a member of the Bills Alumni Association earned him the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Distinguished Service Award in 2000.
“He was one of the first presidents of the (Bills Alumni Association),” said Edgerson. “He used his business contacts and his popularity in the community.
“We made sure that we visited a lot of the inner-city youth groups and other organizations to make sure that we were able to provide some kind of assistance to them during the holidays and throughout the year. We always went to different functions throughout the year to support different organizations raising money.
“He was always there up until the last year or 18 months when his health started to get down on him.”
Though he only played with the Bills for four seasons, Warlick was an AFL All-Star all four years as he was a major contributor to the team’s back-to-back AFL titles in the mid-60’s.Full NFL Statistics).
“He was one of the first tight ends that was actually designated as a receiver, not just as a blocker,” said Edgerson. “Lou Saban utilized him as a receiver just as much as he would, in fact more than he did as a blocker in that first year or so.
His stand out performance came in the Dec. 2, 1962 game with the eventual AFL champion Dallas Texans. Pulling in nine catches for 117 yards and a touchdown, Warlick’s biggest play was a 17-yard grab on Buffalo’s game clinching drive to set up a one-yard plunge by Cookie Gilchrist in a 23-14 victory.
He also scored the first touchdown in Buffalo’s 23-0 shutout victory over the San Diego Chargers for their second straight AFL title in 1965.
Warlick is also a member of the Bills 25th Anniversary team. He was 80-years old.