Derrick Gaffney
No. 81     
Wide receiver
Personal information
Date of birth: (1955-05-24) May 24, 1955 (age 64)
Place of birth: Jacksonville, Florida
High School: William M. Raines High School
Jacksonville, Florida
Height: 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m) Weight: 181 lb (82 kg)
Career information
College: University of Florida
NFL Draft: 1978 / Round: 8 / Pick: 197
Debuted in 1978 for the New York Jets
Last played in 1987 for the New York Jets
Career history
* New York Jets ( 1978 1984, 1987)
Career highlights and awards
* SEC record for longest TD reception (1977)
Career NFL statistics as of 1987
Games played     100
Games started     68
Receptions     156
Receiving yards     2,613
Touchdowns     7
Stats at
Stats at
Stats at

Derrick Tyrone Gaffney (born May 24, 1955) is a former American college and professional football player who was a wide receiver in the National Football League (NFL) for eight seasons during the 1970s and 1980s. Gaffney played college football for the University of Florida, and thereafter, he played professionally for the New York Jets of the NFL.

Early years Edit

Gaffney was born in Jacksonville, Florida in 1955.[1] He attended William M. Raines High School in Jacksonville,[2] and he played high school football for the Raines Vikings.

College career Edit

Gaffney received an athletic scholarship to attend the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida, where he played for coach Doug Dickey's Florida Gators football team from 1974 to 1977.[3] Memorably, Gaffney caught a ninety-nine-yard touchdown reception from Cris Collinsworth in the Gators' 48–3 victory over the Rice Owls in 1977, which tied the then-current NCAA record and remains the longest touchdown pass in Southeastern Conference (SEC) history.[3] While he was a Florida undergraduate, Gaffney was also a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity.

Professional career Edit

The New York Jets chose Gaffney in the eighth round (197th pick overall) in the 1978 NFL Draft,[4] and he played for the Jets from 1978 to 1984 and again in 1987.[5] His single best season was his rookie year in 1978, when he caught thirty-eight passes for 691 yards.[1] Gaffney started sixty-eight of 100 games in which he played for the Jets, and finished his NFL career with 156 receptions for 2,613 yards and seven touchdowns.[1]

Gaffney football family Edit

Derrick Gaffney's older brother, Don Gaffney, was the starting quarterback for the Florida Gators from the middle of the 1973 season through the end of 1975, and was the first African-American to become the starter at the quarterback position for the Gators. Gaffney is also the father of current NFL wide receiver Jabar Gaffney and the uncle of NFL cornerback Lito Sheppard. Both played for the Gators: Jabar Gaffney in 2000 and 2001, and Lito Sheppard from 1999 to 2001.

See also Edit

References Edit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2, Players, Derrick Gaffney. Retrieved August 4, 2010.
  2., Players, Derrick Gaffney. Retrieved August 4, 2010.
  3. 3.0 3.1 2011 Florida Gators Football Media Guide, University Athletic Association, Gainesville, Florida, pp. 158 & 181 (2011). Retrieved August 29, 2011.
  4. Pro Football Hall of Fame, Draft History, 1978 National Football League Draft. Retrieved August 4, 2010.
  5. National Football League, Historical Players, Derrick Gaffney. Retrieved August 4, 2010.

Bibliography Edit

  • Carlson, Norm, University of Florida Football Vault: The History of the Florida Gators, Whitman Publishing, LLC, Atlanta, Georgia (2007). ISBN 0-7948-2298-3.
  • Golenbock, Peter, Go Gators! An Oral History of Florida's Pursuit of Gridiron Glory, Legends Publishing, LLC, St. Petersburg, Florida (2002). ISBN 0-9650782-1-3.
  • Hairston, Jack, Tales from the Gator Swamp: A Collection of the Greatest Gator Stories Ever Told, Sports Publishing, LLC, Champaign, Illinois (2002). ISBN 1-58261-514-4.
  • McCarthy, Kevin M., Fightin' Gators: A History of University of Florida Football, Arcadia Publishing, Mount Pleasant, South Carolina (2000). ISBN 978-0-7385-0559-6.
  • Nash, Noel, ed., The Gainesville Sun Presents The Greatest Moments in Florida Gators Football, Sports Publishing, Inc., Champaign, Illinois (1998). ISBN 1-57167-196-X.
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