The Kansas City Chiefs are on the clock, looking for a new head coach.
What most expected during this very difficult season took place this past Monday; Chiefs Chairman and CEO Clark Hunt decided that it was in the best interest of the franchise to part ways with head coach Romeo Crennel.
“Those are always very difficult conversations,” Hunt said of his meeting with Crennel. “I think Romeo has been in this business long enough, where he probably knew it was coming. He understands it’s a performance business and two wins are not good enough.”
The 2012 season was Crennel’s 31st in the NFL, his 42nd in the coaching profession and ended with a 2-14 record. Crennel was named the club’s 12th coach in franchise history on January 9, 2012 and with the 38-3 loss to the Denver Broncos on Sunday, he leaves with an overall-head coaching record of 28-55, 4-15 with the Chiefs.
While it was evident that a change needed to happen, it is now a reality. A head-coaching search has been underway, spearheaded by Hunt, who is wasting no time in trying to find the 13th coach in franchise history.
“We do have a number of other teams out there who are looking for a head coach and it’s always very competitive, the first couple of weeks of January,” Hunt admitted. “That’s one of the reasons why it’s important for me to start the search right away. We want to be in the mix with top candidates. We don’t have a timeline but at the same time, we want to make sure we have a shot at a lot of the candidates that we put on our A-list.”
Hunt is committed to excellence and to restoring the winning culture back to the home-grown, family-owned, fan-supported Kansas City Chiefs franchise. He made clear what qualities he is looking for in our next head coach.
“I want somebody who’s a proven leader,” Hunt stated. “Somebody who has been a part of building a successful program, somebody who’s an effective communicator and teacher, somebody who has a high football IQ and is willing to roll up his sleeves and really work hard, somebody who will hold himself accountable, as well as his coaches and the team and then finally, somebody of high character, somebody with a lot of integrity.”
In accomplishing the task of finding the right head coach, Hunt will also be looking for someone who is able to right the ship immediately and steer it toward the playoffs and beyond, for years to come.
“Obviously, you would like to hire somebody and have him spend the rest of his career with you and that will certainly be our goal as we go into this process, to find somebody who can be with us for the long-term,” Hunt said. “I am a strong believer in continuity and if you can find the right individual in the coaching position, it allows you to have continuity.”
When the new coach arrives, he will join a team that is one of just six-current NFL franchises that have been owned by the same individual family for over 50 years. There’s something to be said about working for an organization, which prides itself on family values and philanthropic endeavors en route to attaining championships.
Our next head coach will also come to work each day at the state-of-the-art Truman Sports Complex, as well as Arrowhead Stadium and its first-class amenities, making it one of the finest sports venues in the world. He will be embraced by a Kansas City fan base that is second-to-none.
So while the pages in the Chiefs’ history book are being turned to a new, fresh and exciting chapter, Kingdom fans wait to see which head coach is selected to revitalize a 53-man roster with so much potential, including five Pro Bowers, two-Pro Bowl alternates and more.
Will the next head coach be a sexy pick, one whose name the world knows, like Andy Reid, who the team interviewed for nine hours on Wednesday? Or, Lovie Smith, who was let go by the Bears after a 10-6 season, which fell short of the playoffs? Norv Turner is a name attached with Super Bowl winning coaches, although Turner was the offensive coordinator for the Dallas Cowboys during their 1992 and 1993 championship seasons.
Or, do the Chiefs go outside the box and try to lure a former Super Bowl-winning coach, yet current television broadcaster to town? Jon Gruden or Bill Cowher, who work for ESPN’s Monday Night Football and The NFL Today on CBS (respectively) are among the high-profile names on the potential list to once again grace the sidelines.
There is also the collegiate option, better known as the up-and-comers, such as (4) Oregon’s Chip Kelly, who is currently focused on his team’s Fiesta Bowl matchup tonight against (5) Kansas State. Penn State’s Bill O’Brien or Syracuse’s Doug Marrone are also names that have been thrown into the 2013 coaching-carousel discussion.
While I’m not suggesting any of the names mentioned above are specifically on the Chiefs’ radar, with the exception of Reid, it’s fun to think about who’s going to be wearing the headset and pacing the sideline of Arrowhead Stadium next season.
What the new Chiefs head coach will know is that he will be reporting to Clark Hunt directly, proving a vested interest of the team.
“Historically, the head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs has reported to the general manager; we’re going to change that reporting structure on a go-forward basis,” Hunt revealed. ”The head coach is going to report directly to me. I’m making this change because I think it gives us the best chance of finding the best coach for the Kansas City Chiefs.”
Once the financial agreement is made, the T’s are crossed and the I’s are dotted and the introductory press conference is completed, the new head coach will begin to tackle the on-field questions of how to turn a 2-14 football team into a division-title contender.
As far as the Chiefs stand right now, 2012 is in the rearview mirror and an offseason of great change, improvement and opportunity is all ahead. If there is any doubt about how fast a franchise can be resuscitated, look no further than Kansas City’s last home opponent; the playoff-bound Indianapolis Colts, who were 2-14 one year ago and this Sunday will be playing for a berth to the second-round of the 2013 playoffs.
Alexander Pope penned the words, “Hope springs eternal,” which perfectly describes the 2013 Kansas City Chiefs. Kingdom fans need forget 2012, embrace the future and enjoy the ride.