George Cortez - Former NFL, CFL, and CFB Coach
George Cortez, who has over 30 years of professional and college coaching experience. In addition to time with the Buffalo Bills as Quarterbacks Coach and University of California as Offensive Coordinator, the 5 time Grey Cup Champion has over 20 years of CFL Coaching experience with the BC Lions, Saskatchewan Roughriders, Hamilton Tiger-Cats, Calgary Stampeders, Ottawa Rough Riders, and Montreal Alouettes.
Cortez has paid a prominent role in Cal's offense posting three of the four highest scoring seasons in school history over the 2002-04 campaigns, and also claiming Pac-10 rushing titles in each of the past two seasons - the first time the Bears have led the conference in rushing since 1958.
Prior to joining the Cal staff, Cortez served as offensive coordinator for the 2001 Grey Cup champion Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian Football League and was the man credited with developing the talents of Jeff Garcia and other successful CFL quarterbacks. Under Cortez's tutelage, Garcia led the Stampeders to the 1998 Grey Cup title and later elevated his game to NFL Pro Bowl status with the San Francisco 49ers.
Cortez was the mastermind behind some of the CFL's most prolific offenses during his four years as Calgary's offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. In 2001, the Stampeders led the league in eight offensive categories, including scoring (25.4 ppg), while Calgary running back Kelvin Anderson gained 1,383 yards to lead the circuit's No. 1 rushing offense. A year earlier, Cortez produced the CFL's 2000 Most Outstanding Player in quarterback Dave Dickenson, who guided an offense that ranked first or second in seven league offensive categories.
Despite playing three different quarterbacks due to injuries, Cortez helped steer Calgary to the Western Division crown in 1999, a season in which the Stampeders topped the CFL in seven offensive areas. And in Cortez's first year as Calgary's coordinator, the 1998 Stampeders claimed the Grey Cup as the Garcia-led offense paced the CFL in 10 statistical departments. Cortez, a 1973 graduate of Texas A&M, also coached Calgary's defensive secondary in 1997 and was the Stampeders' offensive line coach from 1992-94 - a period in which their line led the CFL in fewest sacks allowed. In '92, his player, Bruce Coventon, became the first-ever offensive lineman to win the Jackie Parker Trophy as the Western Division's Rookie of the Year.
Remarkably, three of his quarterbacks from the 1998 Calgary team played in the NFL (Garcia, Dickenson and Henry Burris).
In other coaching stops, Cortez served as quarterback coach at Southern Methodist University from 1995-96 and was defensive line and special teams coach for the CFL's Ottawa Roughriders from 1990-91. He also coached for the CFL's Montreal Alouettes/Concordes from 1983-86, and logged college stints for a combined nine years at Lamar and Rice universities, as well as five years of coaching at C.E. King High School in Houston, Texas.