Dick Vermeil is a former American head coach for the National Football League's Philadelphia Eagles (1976-1982), St. Louis Rams (1997-1999) and Kansas City Chiefs (2001-2005). He has coached at every level, Vermeil owns the rare distinction of being named Coach of the Year on four levels: High School, Junior College, NCAA Division I and the NFL.
Vermeil graduated in 1959 with an M.A. from San Jose State, where he was the backup quarterback. After serving as Head Coach for San Jose?s Del Mar High School football team for several years, Vermeil was hired as the NFL's first ever Special Teams coach by the Los Angeles Rams in 1969. He would remain with the Rams until 1974 when he was named as Head Coach by UCLA. Vermeil compiled a 15-5-3 record in two seasons (1974-1975) as head coach at UCLA, including a 9-2-1 record in 1975 when Vermeil led the Bruins to their first Pac 8 Championship, and a win in the Rose Bowl over an undefeated and number 1 ranked Ohio State team.
Vermeil began his NFL head coaching career in 1976 with the Philadelphia Eagles. He would coach the Eagles through the 1982 season. He was named the NFL's coach of the year in 1980, and led the Eagles into Super Bowl XV after defeating the Dallas Cowboys for the NFC championship. He retired for the first time after the 1982 season citing burnout. For the next 15 years, Vermeil spent time working as a sports announcer for the likes of CBS and ABC.
Vermeil returned to coaching with the St. Louis Rams in 1997. His first two years with the Rams were abysmal: the Rams won 5 and lost 11 games in 1997, and the following season they went 4-12. The 1999 season looked to start just as badly, when new starting quarterback Trent Green was injured in the pre- season. However, Green's injury allowed the unknown Kurt Warner to start. Under Warner, the Rams offense exploded, and they finished the 1999 season with a record of 13-3. It was one of the biggest single year turn arounds in NFL history. Vermeil led the Rams to their first ever Superbowl victory in Super Bowl XXXIV later that season with a win over the Tennessee Titans. He was also named NFL Coach of the Year for his second time for the 1999 season. He walked away from coaching again after the Rams' Super Bowl victory.
Soon after retiring in 2000, Vermeil realized how much passion he still had for football, and decided to return to coaching yet again. He signed with the Kansas City Chiefs on January 12, 2001. His first season with the Chiefs, the 2001 season, was anything but spectacular. The Chiefs finished a dismal 6-10 record, their worst record since 1988. Vermeil and the Chiefs made some major changes for the 2002 season, where the Chiefs would improve to 8-8. The Chiefs had the NFL's best offense in 2002, led by stars like Priest Holmes, Trent Green, Tony Gonzalez, Dante Hall, and future Hall of Fame offensive linemen like Willie Roaf and Will Shields. In 2003 the Chiefs started the season 9-0, and would finish with a 13-3 record, making the playoffs and winning the AFC West. They also had the NFL's top ranked offense for the second straight year. The Chiefs went 7-9 in 2004, even though they had the NFL's top ranked offense for the third consecutive year.
Vermeil returned with the Chiefs for the 2005 season with one of the NFL's best offenses, and an improved defense. Vermeil's play calling in 2005 uncharacteristically included more high risk calls. On December 31 Vermeil announced that he would retire at the conclusion of the 2005 season, and the next day he led the Chiefs to a 37-3 rout over the Cincinnati Bengals. However, the Chiefs failed to make the playoffs despite their 10-6 record.