published Monday, May 13th, 2013

Former UTC football coach Buddy Nix steps down as Bills GM

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. - Buddy Nix is stepping down as the Buffalo Bills general manager, the team announced on Monday.

Nix will remain with the team in a new role as special assistant, the Bills said in a released statement. Nix is a former football coach at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

Assistant GM Doug Whaley, entering his fourth season in Buffalo, is expected to take over. He was signed to a long-term contract extension in January. Though the Bills did not immediately announce Nix's replacement, the team has spent much of the offseason grooming Whaley, a former executive with the Steelers and a former player at Pitt, to take over.

The move did not come as a surprise, and comes after Nix oversaw the draft in which the Bills opened by selecting quarterback EJ Manuel.

Nix and team president Russ Brandon were set to discuss the move later in the day.

At 73, Nix completed his third season as the Bills general manager.

"I've made the decision to step away from the general manager's position because I feel it is the right time," Nix said. "By the right time, I think we have a good young roster, an excellent head coach with a good staff. And it's time to let someone else handle these responsibilities and move forward together."

Nix had previously said he would be interested in stepping down once he felt the team had a franchise quarterback in place and was prepared to move in the right direction.

"I feel strongly that the team is on the right course for success," Nix said.

The Bills are rebuilding from scratch once again under new coach Doug Marrone, who was hired in January after turning around a struggling program at Syracuse.

Marrone replaced Chan Gailey, who was fired after a 6-10 finish last year.

The Bills have had eight consecutive losing seasons, and haven't made the playoffs in 13 seasons - the NFL's longest active drought.

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