George Catavolos
Secondary Coach


28th Year in NFL/7th with the Bills


Catavolos enters his seventh season with the Bills in 2012.  He was retained by head coach Chan Gailey in 2010.  He joined the franchise as a defensive backs coach in 2006.

28th year in the NFL

7th year with the Bills


    Catavolos enters his seventh season with the Bills in 2012.  He was retained by head coach Chan Gailey in 2010.  He joined the franchise as a defensive backs coach in 2006.

    Prior to coming to Buffalo in 2006, Catavolos held the same position with four other NFL clubs: Detroit (2004-05), Washington (2002-03), Indianapolis (1984-93; 1998-2001) and Carolina (1995-97).

    Buffalo’s secondary continues to produce productive seasons under Catavolos’ leadership. In 2009, rookie FS Jairus Byrd recorded a club rookie record nine interceptions and earned a Pro Bowl berth. In 2009, the Bills ranked first in the AFC with 28 interceptions, including 22 from the defensive backs.


Below are statistical feats accomplished by the Bills under Catavolos:
    In 2011, the Bills tallied 20 interceptions, 17 of which were credited to DBs.  Buffalo’s 20 interceptions  ranked tied for sixth in the NFL (tied for second in the AFC).

    In 2010, Buffalo’s pass defense ranked third in the NFL allowing 192.0 passing yards per game. … under Catavolos’s guidance, Buffalo’s pass defense allowed just 38 passes of 20-plus yards which was tied for fourth in the NFL. The Bills accounted for 10 interceptions in weeks nine-16, which tied for fifth-most during the second half of the 2010 season.
    Buffalo’s pass defense ranked second in the NFL in passing yards per play (5.68), passing yards per game (184.3) and opponent passer rating (61.1) in 2009.

    In 2008, the secondary unit allowed the fourth-fewest touchdown passes in the NFL (14).  Buffalo’s pass defense (204.4) improved to 13th in 2008 compared to 29th in 2007.  CB Terrence McGee led the team in passes defensed (21) and interceptions (3). S Donte Whitner posted a team-high three forced fumbles and added 63 tackles.  CB Leodis McKelvin added two interceptions – including one returned for a touchdown as a rookie.

    In 2007, Catavolos led the secondary to a solid season as a number of players gained on-the-job experience while the team overcame numerous injuries (four defensive backs were placed on injured reserve). McGee led the team with four interceptions and ranked third in the NFL with 25 passes defensed. Catavolos led the transition of former WR George Wilson to free safety and Wilson started nine games at the position.  

    In 2006, the Bills defensive backs enjoyed a standout season in their first season working with the long-time coaching veteran.  The Bills ranked 1st in the NFL yielding just 10.14 yards per completion and ranked No. 3 allowing 6.40 yards per pass attempt. Buffalo ranked 6th in the NFL in passing net yards per play and 7th in passing net yards per game. Catavolos was influential in the development of the NFL’s only starting rookie safety tandem in 2006 – Whitner and Ko Simpson. Whitner was awarded the NFL’s defensive rookie of the month award in September and selected to the NFL All-Rookie team.

    Other career highlights for Catavolos include having a defensive back participate in three consecutive Pro Bowls from 2003-05 (Dré Bly 2005, Champ Bailey 2004, 2003).

    From 1995-97, Catavolos served as the Carolina Panthers defensive backs coach and helped CB Eric Davis reach the Pro Bowl in 1996. In the same season, the Panthers advanced to the NFC Championship game in only their second year in the NFL.

    Catavolos’ NFL coaching career started in 1984 when he was hired as the defensive backs coach of the Indianapolis Colts, a position he held through the 1993 season.



    A three-year letter winner at Purdue as a defensive back, Catavolos was the Boilermakers’ co-captain during the team’s 1967 Rose Bowl Championship season…received a bachelor’s degree in physical education from Purdue in 1967, and was the recipient of the Nobel E. Kizer award for excellence in academics during his senior year. He went on to earn his master’s degree in education and administration in 1969…Catavolos and his wife, Tona, have two daughters, Lindsay and Stephanie.



    2006-        Buffalo Bills   Defensive Backs

   2004-05 Detroit Lions    Defensive Backs

   2002-03 Washington Redskins                Defensive Backs

   1998-01 Indianapolis Colts            Asst. Head Coach /Defensive Backs

   1995-97 Carolina Panthers           Defensive Backs

   1984-93 Indianapolis Colts            Defensive Backs


    1982-83   Tennessee   Secondary

    1977-81   Kentucky    Secondary

    1971-76   Purdue        Secondary

    1970          Louisville    Secondary

    1969          Mid. Tenn. St.               Secondary

                1967-68                Purdue Graduate Asst.