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Bills hire three assistants; retain another

Bills head coach Chan Gailey moved closer to filling out the balance of his coaching staff as the club announced the hiring of three new assistants and the retention of another on Monday.

Buffalo hired George Cortez as quarterbacks coach, Bruce DeHaven as special teams coach and Stan Hixon as receivers coach. Adrian White was also retained from the previous coaching staff.

"Things are coming along well with the staff at this point," Gailey said. "Time is not as important as getting it right and we feel really good about the coaches that we have right now."

For DeHaven it's his second stint as Bills special teams coach as he spent the first 13 years of his NFL coaching career with Buffalo (1987-99). During that time Buffalo's units were considered among the best in the NFL and were led by special team standouts Mark Pike and Steve Tasker.

"I am very excited to come back to Buffalo," DeHaven said.  "It was my family's home for 13 years and we have been travelling around the country for the last 10 and feels like we are coming home.  I was fortunate enough to be a part of some of the greatest years in Buffalo Bills history and I am looking forward to trying to reprise that era."

"We are very excited about Bruce DeHaven joining our staff," Gailey said.  "He is an extremely respected special teams coach in the league and he has done a great job wherever he has been.  I know he is very familiar with Buffalo and the things we have to do in our stadium to be successful.  We are very pleased to have Bruce join our staff."

DeHaven's coverage and return units have historically been at or near the top of league. For four straight seasons with the Bills his kickoff coverage unit ranked first in the NFL. His 1991 Bills punt coverage unit had held the all-time record for fewest return yards allowed in a season with a total of 53 before it was recently broken by Atlanta in 2008 (51).

Since his first stint in Buffalo DeHaven has worked for the 49ers (2000-02), Cowboys (2003-06) and Seahawks (2007-09).

Offensive assistantsGailey's two new offensive assistants both come with college and professional football experience. Cortez was most recently the offensive coordinator for the CFL's Calgary Stampeders. He has coached for 18 seasons in the Canadian Football League serving as offensive coordinator for three Grey Cup title teams in Calgary (1998, 2001, 2008).

He is largely credited with the development of quarterback Jeff Garcia, who eventually left the Canadian Football League to achieve Pro Bowl status in the NFL. Cortez's CFL offenses in Calgary led the league in seven or more offensive categories for four straight seasons (1998-2001).

In between his two stints in Calgary Cortez spent four seasons as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for one of the more prolific offenses in the Pac-10 at Cal (2002-2005). In his time with the Bears he helped to develop the talents of former Bears signal callers Kyle Boller (St. Louis Rams) and current Packers Pro Bowl quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

Wide receivers coach Stan Hixon comes to the Bills after a six-year coaching stretch with the Washington Redskins. Hixon was instrumental in helping Washington wideout Santana Moss achieve Pro Bowl status in his first season with the Redskins in 2005.

Prior to his time with Washington Hixon spent 24 seasons as a college coach. His last four seasons at the collegiate level were spent as receivers/associate head coach at LSU where he helped turn Bills receiver Josh Reed into a Biletnikoff winner with a senior season that saw him catch a school record 94 passes for 1,740 yards and seven touchdowns. He was also part of an LSU staff that led the Tigers to a National Championship in 2003.

White retainedHead coach Chan Gailey also kept Adrian White on his coaching staff. White has served the past two seasons as defensive quality control coach for the Bills. He's also assisted secondary coach George Catavolos with defensive backs having been an NFL cornerback and safety for six seasons (1987-2003).

White is the third coach retained from the previous staff by Gailey, joining Catavolos and Bob Sanders.

Buffalo still has a coaching vacancy for their defensive coordinator post. No word on when that position will be filled.

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