Tag Archives: Houston Oilers

Lowry, Alan

Cards: UT Upper Deck 2011, UT Upper Deck 2011 National Champs
Acquired: TTM 2019, C/o Home
Sent: 10/3/19 Received: 4/18/20 (196 days)

Alan Lowry played for the Longhorns from 1970 to 1972 as a quarterback, punter, and defensive back. Initially a defensive back and punter when he arrived, Lowry had 3 picks in 1970, and then followed it up in 1971 with 5 interceptions for 121 yards and 2 TDs (single season school record since tied) earning him All-SWC honors. As a punter in both years Alan had 53 punts for 2,032 yards (38.3) in 1970, and 49 punts for 1,878 yards (38.3)- respectively in 1970 and 1971. His 82 yard punt, still stands as a school record.

In 1972 Alan switched to quarterback, where at the time the Longhorns were using a modified version of the Houston Veer. He rushed for 661 yards on 168 yards scoring 11 times while passing for 766 yards and a TD on 46 completions (39.3 completion percentage). Again he’d be named to the All-SWC team- but at a second position, which is a rarity even in college football.

Alan was drafted in the 13th round of the 1973 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots, but before he even played a down, he was diagnosed with blood clots from a strained tendon in his arm. The injury was serious enough to end his pro football career before it even began.

Lowry went right into coaching at Texas, with the Longhorns as a graduate assistant and then later, Wyoming and West Virginia, and later returning to Texas with the Dallas Cowboys organization. He has embarked on a long and storied career as a positional and special teams coach throughout the NFL since the early 80s, with the Cowboys, Buccaneers, 49ers, Oilers, and Titans. He is perhaps most quietly known as the architect behind the ‘Music City Miracle’ play. Lowry was with the Titans organization through 2013, and still resides in Tennessee to this day.

Williams, Doug (OT)

Card: Wild Card WLAF 1992
Acquired: 2019, C/o Home
Sent: 8/22 Received: 8/31 (8 days)

Doug Williams played his college ball at Texas A&M from 1982-1985. The 6’5″, 300 pound lineman blocked up front for future notable NFL runningbacks Keith Woodside, Anthony Toney, and Roger Vick. He’d be selected in the second round of the 1986 NFL draft by the New York Jets.

After a brief holdout, he’d sign with the team. Unfairly he’d be thrust into action in the preseason against the formidable Giants pass rush which included Lawrence Taylor and Leonard Marshall. The team cut him before the regular season citing his lack of camp prep time as a main reason for his dismissal.

Doug signed with the Houston Oilers and suited up for 15 games, starting 2 that year. He then started 7 of 8 games for Houston in the strike shortened 1987 season playing primarily tackle.

Doug was selected in 1992 by the San Antonio Riders of the World League. He made the roster and had a great season blocking up front for the league’s leading rusher Ivory Lee Brown and quarterback Mike Johnson. The Riders cruised to a 7-3 record before the league went on hiatus.

Class act by Doug here, as he not only signed my card, he added his own inscribed photo as well and sent it back on his own dime! I struggled mightily to find Doug over the years as his name is a fairly common one. Thankfully Wikipedia gave me a solid lead to move forward with to narrow down the names.

Gilbride, Kevin

Card: Topps XFL 2020
Acquired: TTM 2020, C/o Home. Box Break 2020
Sent: 5/24 Received: 5/30 (6 days)

Kevin has been a career coach, since earning his Master’s in physical education from Idaho State. He joined the staff there at the school in 1974 and then embarked on a whirlwind of collegiate stops at Tufts (1976-77), and American International (1978-79). In 1980, Kevin returned to his Alma Mater Southern Connecticut State where he earned his first head coaching gig. There he posted a 35-14-2 record coaching the Owls through 1984. In 1985, Kevin joined the CFL Ottawa Rough Riders as an assistant coach.

Gilbride returned to the college ranks in 1987 as he continued to hone his skills as an offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. He then joined the Houston Oilers in 1989 as the quarterbacks coach working with Warren Moon, as the Oilers converted over to Run ‘N Shoot full time. In 1990 he became the team’s offensive coordinator- a position he held through 1994.

It’d be in 1993, that Buddy Ryan joined the Oilers staff. A divisive defensive coordinator, Buddy and Kevin did not see eye to eye philosophically, and head coach Jack Pardee was laissez faire managing their relationship. Things came to a boil finally on a Sunday Night contest against the New York Jets during the season finale- and after the defense was forced to come back onto the field late in the first half, Buddy went up and slugged Kevin. A host of players had to separate the two to keep them from going at it on the sidelines.

Kevin Gilbride will be selling insurance in two years.

– Buddy Ryan

Still despite this Kevin has always been a magnanimous professional about the situation. It’s unfortunate that most fans remember Gilbride for this incident, instead of his prolific offenses and quarterback whispering.

After the collapse of the Oilers in 1994, Kevin was not retained. He joined the expansion Jacksonville Jaguars as their offensive coordinator the following year, and was with the team through the 96 season. After the Jaguars had a prolific season that year, Kevin was scooped up by the San Diego Chargers to be their head coach. He was with the team for less than 2 seasons, and after a poor showing to kick off 1998, he was let go. He finished 6-16 during his brief time as head coach. Kevin spent the next two years as the offensive coordinator of the Steelers, and then in 2001 as an analyst for ESPN. 2002 and 2003 saw him step into the OC chair for the Bills, before Kevin went on to coach for the New York Giants in 2004.

Reunited with Tom Coughlin from Jacksonville, Kevin worked with Eli Manning as the quarterbacks coach through 2005, before returning to the offensive coordinator mantle. During this period, the Giants won two Super Bowl titles under his guidance (- the same amount that Buddy Ryan won). In 2014 Kevin retired.

It’d be after a nearly 5 year hiatus, Kevin was hired by the XFL, that was rebooting for 2020. Kevin was named as head coach of the New York Guardians. He’d draft Matt McGloin to be his quarterback, and trade for Luis Perez. Despite suffering through a quarterback meltdown, and the team losing 2 straight contests, the Guardians rebounded to a 3-2 record. It was a shame that the league ended at the time it did as the franchise was on the upswing and was in a dead heat for first place.

Killer response from Kevin, who not only signed his card, but also graciously included a copy of a Run ‘N Shoot play from back in the days of the Houston Oilers! (I’ve asked coaches on occasion for a play, but have never gotten a response up until this point.) I just wish he had identified the play I was looking at. Later an offensive quality control specialist identified it as being called ‘Choice’- but whether or not Kevin calls it this or not is unknown.

When I was a kid, I remembered going to Oilers training camp while Kevin was there. He came over to sign autographs and he overheard me talking about Eric Metcalf and told me he’d be excited to have Eric play for him.

Kevin’s head coaching career has been brief, and by the time he was, the chief maker of coach cards- ProSet was out of business, so nobody up to this point, had ever made a card of him. I was very excited when I saw that he was in the XFL 2020 set, and decided it was a priority to try to get his autograph on this card.