Andy Reid marches on to Kansas City
Former Glendale Community College player officially named new head coach of Kansas City Chiefs.
ARCHIVE PHOTO: Just one week after being fired as head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, Andy Reid lands the top job in Kansas City. (Courtesy of David J. Phillip)
Reid, who played football at Glendale Community College from 1976-77 and earned All-Western State Conference accolades, will inherit a team that finished 2-14 this past season and will have the top pick in the draft in April for the first time since the franchise was established in 1960.
With Reid yearning to get back into the coaching fraternity, the positives far outweighed the negatives in joining the Chiefs.
“The fan base here is phenomenal,” Reid said Monday while being introduced during a press conference as Kansas City’s 12th head coach. “There's nothing like the Sea of Red.
“My family and I are very excited to join the Chiefs organization and the Kansas City community. I want to thank the Hunt family for allowing me the opportunity to lead this storied franchise. The Chiefs have always had a passionate fan base and I'm looking forward to Sundays at Arrowhead Stadium. We've got a lot of work to do to get ready for next season, and we are going to get started immediately.
“There was a certain energy that started with [Kansas City Chairman/CEO Clark Hunt] and radiated with the other people I had a chance to meet with, and it was just great. You got the feeling that this was right. It was the right thing to do. It made the decision easy. I crossed my fingers that I'd be offered the job.”
Reid was fired Dec. 31 after 14 seasons as head coach of the Eagles. Philadelphia finished 4-12 and missed the playoffs for the second season in a row despite having championship aspirations after the team acquired plenty of high-priced talent.
Reid, who signed a reported five-year deal with the Chiefs on Friday to replace Romeo Crennel, is the winningiest coach in Philadelphia history. The former NFL Coach of the Year led the Eagles to nine playoff appearances, six divisions titles and five NFC championship games. He also piloted Philadelphia to an appearance in the Super Bowl in 2004 against the New England Patriots.
Those credentials led to the Chiefs bringing Reid, who went 130-93-1 during the regular season (140-102-1 overall) at Philadelphia, on board.
“We are thrilled to welcome Andy to the Chiefs family,” said Hunt, who, along with several Kansas City executives, met with Reid for nearly nine hours at a private Philadelphia area airport last week to negotiate the particulars concerning organizational structure, salary and coaching budgets. “Throughout his career, Andy has established himself as one of the finest coaches in the National Football League. His integrity, knowledge of the game, work ethic and outstanding abilities as a teacher and communicator make him the ideal head coach to lead the Chiefs for many years to come.”
Reid will also be the head of football operations with the Chiefs, replacing Scott Pioli. Pioli was dismissed by Kansas City after four seasons at the helm. Reid held a similar role in Philadelphia, reporting to Philadelphia owner Jeffrey Lurie, and will likely have similar authority under Hunt.
The Eagles fell on hard times the past two seasons. They went 8-8 in 2011 and fell to 4-12 in 2012, signaling the end of Reid’s era in Philadelphia.
“I can leave Philadelphia saying I gave it my all,” Reid said.
Reid will have a Kansas City roster dotted with five Pro Bowlers, including running back Jamaal Charles, who rushed for 1,509 yards and five touchdowns this season. However, the Chiefs do not have a bona fide No. 1 quarterback. The Chiefs currently have a quarterback trio of Matt Cassel, Brady Quinn and Ricky Stanzi.
Reid said he will analyze the quarterback state of affairs surrounding the Chiefs.
“I've gotta find that next Len Dawson, doggone it,” Reid said referring to the former Kansas City quarterback who led Kansas City to its lone Super Bowl title in 1969.
The Chiefs have captured six AFC West Division championships, the last in 2010.
“We'll start from the bottom and we'll start working,” Reid said. “I'll bring in a good staff and we'll get down to what's important with my title and job and that’s to be the head football coach.”