69 Bill Searcey

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Offensive Guard   1984

Guard Bill Searcey blocks for Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly (1984 Gamblers Media Guide Cover)



Born: March 3, 1958, Savannah, GA

Height: 6-02     Weight: 265

College: University of Alabama

Acquired: Selected by the Gamblers in the third round of the USFL Expansion Draft on Sep. 6, 1983

Pro Bio: Played in two games for the Gamblers during the 1984 season, against the Gunslingers in week 2 and the Blitz in week 3... On the roster for five games with the Birmingham Stallions in 1983, before breaking his hand... Concluded his pro career with the San Diego Chargers in 1985.

Originally signed as a free agent by the Detroit Lions in 1981.

College Bio: Three-year letterman for the Crimson Tide... Developed tremendous upper body strength after spending countless hours in the weight room... One of Alabama's strongest players ever.

Personal: Regarded as one of the top prep recruits in the South after his graduation from Benedictine Military School in Savannah... Lettered four years each in football and track... Shot putter in track.


The Bill Searcey Interview

March, 2011


Anthony: Where are you from and where do you live now?

Bill: I grew up in Savannah, Georgia and have lived in Alabama for a long time now.

Anthony: How did the University of Alabama find out about you while you were in high school?

Bill: I was highly recruited, because I was an All-American player in high school. All of the Southeastern Conference schools were interested, as well as many larger universities around the country. I was a Georgia fan growing up, but got recruited by coach (“Bear“) Bryant -- you know what I mean? I felt his team was the best way to win a national championship, and wound up making a good choice. We won two of them back-to-back in ‘78 and ‘79, and I was able to letter three years.

Anthony: It must have been a high-point in your life to be a starter for Alabama during those incredible seasons. And, I understand you’re the strongest man to have ever played for Bama.

Bill: Yeah, school officials have said that.

Anthony: Gamblers offensive line coach Bob Young, who was one of the strongest football players in history himself, probably loved you.

Bill: Bob and I got to be pretty good friends… What happened was Bob had an ex-teammate by the name of Tom Banks who was playing for the Birmingham Stallions. The Gamblers took me in the expansion draft from Birmingham, I guess because of Tom’s recommendation with the strength thing, and I was also built very similar to Bob as far as height and weight goes. Even after I got in all of my trouble, Bob was still a good coach and a good friend to me.

Anthony: Oh boy, the legendary “trouble.” I’m sure Jerry Argovitz wasn’t too happy about that episode.

Bill: Jerry Argovitz was the kind of owner who was really in control of his team -- he kinda reminded me of the Al Davis type. Well, I was one of his first players to get into trouble with the police. Jim Kelly was there with me the night it happened, and I pushed him back inside and told him, “You don’t need to be a part of this.” Regardless, any publicity is good publicity, and there was a huge headline and article in the Houston papers about me and the team thanks to that event.

Anthony: It wasn’t the trouble with the law that sidelined you, though.

Bill: I tore a groin muscle really bad during training camp, and it never really healed before I started playing. I had it injected before one game, so I could play, and the muscle was totally destroyed after that. Such is the sport of football.

Anthony: A tough hand to be dealt, for sure.

Bill: I enjoyed my opportunity with the Gamblers, even though it was short-lived. I was always a Raiders fan because I enjoyed their style of play, and while others may not agree, I felt like the Gamblers were trying to model themselves to be a somewhat similar type of team. -- especially with the likes of Jerry Argovitz, who was a bit of a maverick. I enjoyed getting to know Jim Kelly. He was a good guy, man.

Anthony: I’m sorry I couldn’t find you to let you know about the Gamblers reunion we had in 2010.

Bill: That’s quite alright, because I’ve been almost impossible to find the past several years. I was working with a ministry in Alabama that was somewhat secluded way out in the country. They have a one-year program for guys who are having problems with drugs and alcohol, coming out of jail or prison and are getting back into society, those kinds of things. I entered the program as a student and was totally secluded for the year, and upon completion, was asked to stay and work there. During this time very few people knew how to find me.

Anthony: Well you’re easy to find now. You’ve generated tons of buzz thanks to your appearance on “Heavy.”

Bill: Everyone’s interested in a train wreck. (Laughs) It’s not a train wreck now -- but it was. After high school, I was always in some kind of trouble. Nothing too serious, but usually some kind of barroom fighting and staying out too late. After playing for the Chargers, I went back south and just got involved in the wrong things. I wandered around for a long time, and did have a commercial real estate career for several years, but to make a long story short, would up homeless and living in my car seven or eight years ago.

Most recently I’ve worked for an organization called Canaan Land Ministries, and now for a program called Changed Lives Christian Center. Because of the TV show, I’ve had several speaking engagements, radio spots and other kinds of appearances.

Anthony: If someone is interested in having you speak at a function, may they contact you?

Bill: Sure, I’d love to hear from them. They can find me on Facebook or call me at (334) 595-1642.

Anthony's thoughts: Bill is a very well-spoken man with an incredible story to tell. Few people can lay claim to two NCAA national football championships, not to mention being personally recriuted by legendary coach "Bear" Bryant.  While Bill's professional career was cut short by injuries, as he mentioned above, he is still regarded as one of the most talented linemen to suit up for the Houston Gamblers. His personal journey before, during and after football should be an inspiration to anyone who has battled addictions, self-esteem issues or disappointment when a promising career ends much too soon. But don't feel sorry for Bill -- he's on top of his game today and ready to help others.

Would you like to have an Alabama football legend speak at your function? Whether it be at your church, veterans organization or school, Bill will tailor his message to relate to your audience. Would you like to host a world-class Bama party with a legendary player in attendance? Bill is your guy, and your guests won't soon forget the experience. Give him a call!

Bill Searcey (seated) hangs out with teammates Pete Catan, Donny Martin, Joe Bock, Scott Boucher and Bryan Dausin.