It should have happened a long time ago, but better late than never.
Dick Vermeil is a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Eagles fans, of course, remember Vermeil as the fiery young head coach that arrived from UCLA in 1976 and helped bring their franchise from the depths of 11 straight non-winning seasons to a Super Bowl appearance following the 1980 season. In seven years with the Birds he went to the playoffs four straight seasons and posted a 54-47 record (.535 winning percentage).
However, Vermeil’s tenure ended in tears as he resigned as head coach following the ‘82 season, citing mental burnout. He left coaching and spent the next decade-and-a-half as one of the best college football analysts in the country, paired with Brent Musberger on CBS, but the urge to coach never fully left Vermeil.
A potential return to Philadelpha was rumored ahead of the 1995 season, but the two sides couldn’t reach an agreement, which led to the hiring of 49ers defensive coordinator Ray Rhodes. Eventually, Vermeil did return to the NFL sidelines with the St. Louis Rams. After his first two season in which he went a combined 9-23, Vermeil led St. Louis and The Greatest Show on Turf to a heart-stopping Super Bowl victory over the Tennessee Titans following the ‘99 season. In five seasons with the Rams he went 44-36 and would later coach the Kansas City Chiefs for five seasons (2001-05), leading them to the best record in football (13-3) in ‘03 as well as a 10-6 season before hanging up his coaching whistle for good.
Overall, his incredible coaching career spanned 15 seasons in which he went 120-109 (.524 winning percentage), with six playoff appearances, and a 6-5 record in the postseason. He is also one of just seven coaches to take two different teams to the Super Bowl (Don Shula, Bill Parcells, Dan Reeves, Mike Holmgren, John Fox and Andy Reid).
To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Eagles’ memorable NFC Championship Game victory over the Dallas Cowboys, Vermeil joined me on BGN Memories recently to remember that incredible season. Check out the full interview on YouTube below or download the podcast!
If NFL Films decides to devote an entire episode of “A Football Life” to you, you’ve probably done enough to deserve to be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, so it’s great to see Coach Vermeil finally get this well-deserved honor.