Like the 1963 NFL Rookie of the Year, Paul Flatley, Billy Joe was drafted both by the NFL and AFL, In the 9th round by the Redskins and in the 11th round by the Broncos. In his AFL Rookie of the Year season, Billy Joe rushed for 646 yards and 4 touchdowns. He had another TD receiving along with 90 yards for a total of 736 all-purpose yards.
In 1965 he was traded to the Bills for Cookie Gilchrist. Billy Joe was selected to play in the AFL All Star Game and helped the Bills win their second consecutive AFL Championship. He played 7 years all in the AFL. In addition to the Broncos and Bills, he played for the Miami Dolphins and the New York Jets.
After his playing days he became a successful college football coach. In his 33 years coaching he won 243 games, second only to Grambling's Eddie Robinson among historically black colleges.