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HISTORY: 1980-1989

HISTORY: 1980-1989


1980 - 1989

Jan 6, 1989

Running back John Stephens is named the Old Spice/NFL Rookie of the Year.

Dec 4, 1988

Veteran wide receiver Stanley Morgan catches his 500th career reception vs. Seattle.

Nov 23, 1988

K-Korp, a company co-owned by Robert Kraft, purchases Sullivan Stadium.

Oct 28, 1988

Victor K. Kiam II becomes majority owner of the Patriots. He will be chairman of the team. Francis W. Murray, the minority owner, is the vice chairman. William H. "Billy" Sullivan, Jr., the founder and previous owner, remains as the team's president. The Kiam, Murray and Sullivan team is known as KMS Limited.

Jul 28, 1988

Victor K. Kiam II, the owner and chief executive officer of Remington Products, Inc. of Bridgeport, Conn., agrees to purchase the team from William H. "Billy" Sullivan, Jr.

Jul 11, 1988

The Patriots retire the number 57 worn by 14-year linebacker Steve Nelson, who had retired following the 1987 season. Nelson played in three Pro Bowls and led the team in tackles for eight years.

Nov 29, 1987

Cornerback Raymond Clayborn ends his consecutive games played streak at 161 when he couldn't play vs. Philadelphia at Sullivan Stadium due to a knee injury suffered the week before vs. Indianapolis on Nov. 22. Clayborn, who went on IR on Nov. 24 (spent rest of season on IR), broke Gino Cappelletti's record of 152 consecutive games-played and Ray Hamilton's 110 consecutive starts.

Sep 13, 1987

Patriots become first NFL team to have its games on a French-speaking radio network on a regular basis. CKLM—a 50,000-watt station out of Laval, Quebec, Canada—was the flagship station (others were CJSA in Ste. Agatle, Que.; CKSL in St. Jovite, Que., and CJER in St. Jerome, Que.). Pierre Donais was the announcer.

Patriots begin four-year, five-million dollar contract with WHDH-Radio in Boston.

Dec 31, 1986

NEP Partners purchase a three-year option to buy the Patriots.

Dec 7, 1986

WR Stanley Morgan establishes a new team record for catches in one season with his 67th catch (had five catches on the day). Morgan, who finished the season with 84 catches, broke Derrick Ramsey's previous mark of 66 catches, set in 1984.

Sep 21, 1986

QB Tony Eason throws for a then team record 414 yards The Patriots lost to Seattle, 38-31, in the game played in Foxboro. Eason was 26 of 45 with three TDs and no interceptions.

Sep 7, 1986

1985 AFC Championship banner is raised at Sullivan Stadium in pregame ceremony prior to the season opener vs. Indianapolis. The banner is 10 feet wide and 15 feet long. Mr. William H. "Billy" Sullivan, Jr. is joined by the governors from each of the New England states.

Jun 30, 1986

John Hannah, who was selected to the Pro Bowl a team record nine times, announces his retirement from the NFL. He retires ranked fourth in the team's record book for games-played with 183.

Jun 30, 1986

John Hannah, who was selected to the Pro Bowl a team record nine times, announces his retirement from the NFL. He retires ranked fourth in the team's record book for games-played with 183.

Jun 12, 1986

Coach Raymond Berry, who led the Patriots to the AFC Championship and Super Bowl XX in his first full season as the team's head coach, signs new five-year contract.

Jan 27, 1986

Defensive end Julius Adams retires after 15 years (all with the Patriots). Adams, the team's number two draft choice in 1971 out of Texas Southern, was the oldest active defensive lineman in the league at age 37 when he retired. He still holds the club record for games played with 210.

Jan 26, 1986

In New England's first Super Bowl appearance the Patriots were defeated by the Chicago Bears in Super Bowl XX, 46-10.


Jan 12, 1986

The Patriots defeated the Miami Dolphins, 31-14, thus winning their first AFC Championship in team history. In doing so, the Patriots ended an 18-game losing streak at the Orange Bowl which started following their last win in 1966.

Dec 28, 1985

The Patriots defeated the New York Jets, 26-14, at The Meadowlands (East Rutherford, N.J.) in the AFC wild-card game. With the victory the Patriots won their first NFL playoff game (the Patriots had an 0-3 NFL playoff record prior to the game).

Oct 13, 1985

Raymond Clayborn establishes a new team record for consecutive starts by starting his 111th straight game. Ray Hamilton had the old mark of 110 (set Sept. 16, 1973 to Oct. 26, 1980). Clayborn celebrated the record-setting day by scoring his first professional touchdown on a 27-yard interception return.

Oct 25, 1984

Hall of Fame receiver Raymond Berry is named the head coach of the Patriots, replacing Ron Meyer. Berry, a former Patriots assistant coach, becomes the team's ninth head coach.

Aug 10, 1984

The Patriots install a new SuperTurf surface at Sullivan Stadium. The original SuperTurf was installed in 1977.

Jun 5, 1984

In the first-ever NFL Supplemental Draft, the Patriots select slotback Ricky Sanders of the Houston Gamblers, running back Eric Jordan of the Oakland Invaders and quarterback Walter Lewis of the Memphis Showboats.

Jun 1, 1984

The Patriots organize a fan advisory board, a group of season ticket holders who will help advise the Patriots on how to make Sullivan Stadium a more exciting and more pleasant place to bring a family to watch an NFL game.

Jun 29, 1983

Sullivan Stadium is officially rededicated and the Boston Pops performs a concert in the stadium that is open free-of-charge to the public.

May 23, 1983

Schaefer Stadium is renamed Sullivan Stadium in honor of the founder and driving force behind the Patriots franchise, William H. "Billy" Sullivan, Jr.

May 17, 1983

William F. Finucane and Jeannette Allen Keefe are elected to the Patriots' Board of Directors.

Feb 16, 1983

General manager Bucko Kilroy is promoted to the position of Vice President and Patrick Sullivan, assistant general manager for four years, is named general manager.

Jan 8, 1983

In their first playoff appearance since 1978, the Patriots lose to the eventual AFC Champion Miami Dolphins at the Orange Bowl, 28-13.


Dec 12, 1982

The Patriots defeat the Miami Dolphins 3-0 in the infamous "Snow Plow Game." Mark Henderson used his snow plow and cleared a kicking surface on the Schaefer Stadium turf for John Smith. Smith then connected on a 33-yard field goal which would be the only scoring of the game.

Jan 15, 1982

Ron Meyer, head coach at Southern Methodist University from 1976-81, is named the Patriots' eighth head coach in club history.

Nov 29, 1981

FB Sam Cunningham, with 35 yards on nine carries against St. Louis at Foxboro, surpasses Jim Nance (5,323 yards on 1,323 carries) as the Patriots' all-time career rushing leader.

Apr 8, 1980

William H. "Billy" Sullivan, Jr., President of the Patriots, is re-elected as Chairman of the Board of NFL Properties.

Feb 25, 1980

Paul Sonnabend resigns as Executive Director of the NFL Management Council and is appointed as Vice President and a member of the Board of Directors of the Patriots.


Patriots Brand Evolution

See the evolution of the Patriots logo and uniform