KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- With trademark tears in his eyes, Dick
Vermeil said this is really it -- a third retirement means he's out
Unlike his other two retirements, there'll be no returning to
the profession he loves so dearly, Vermeil tearfully told a news
conference Sunday after his Kansas City Chiefs beat Cincinnati
He had told the team and staff the night before that he would
step down after five years with the Chiefs and 15 years in the NFL.
His retirement did not come as a surprise.
Nevertheless, he teared up and had to pause several times after
the game Sunday while thanking Chiefs owner Lamar Hunt and team
president Carl Peterson for giving him an opportunity.
"I didn't get you to a Super Bowl, Lamar," he told the owner,
who sat a few feet away and also appeared to be tight-lipped. "But
you'll get there some day, and I'll go with you."
Vermeil said he had no plans for the future.
"I haven't even thought about it," he said. "I haven't even
thought about calling a moving van."
When he looks back at a lifetime of coaching, Vermeil will
remember the people.
He'll think about the fresh-faced high school kids where it all
began in San Jose and San Mateo, Calif. He'll recall the youngsters
at UCLA he took to the Rose Bowl and led to an upset of then-No. 1
Ohio State in 1976.
There'll be the memories of Philadelphia and a Super Bowl, of
winning the Super Bowl with the St. Louis Rams, and the last five
years in Kansas City.
"I think of watching people go through transitions in their
career, to go from one level to the next level," he said. "All
those things are very real."
A head coaching career that included three teams and 15 years in
the NFL came to a victorious but frustrating end for the
69-year-old Vermeil on Sunday.
As the Chiefs were beating the playoff-bound Bengals to go to
10-6, Pittsburgh was beating Detroit and knocking them out of the
The Chiefs will be the only NFL team Vermeil coached that did
not make it to the Super Bowl.
"The greatest thing I take away from here is the value of the
relationships and how deep they are," he said. "They're not
influenced by the scoreboard. Nobody can take those things away."
He said he made his decision several weeks ago but did not want
to make it public and cause a distraction. He told his staff and
players on Saturday.
"The benefit of a coach is I get to enjoy my own self
satisfaction being a coach and a leader and a teacher. And then I
can enjoy the enjoyment the player gets. It's a win-win for me,"
"It's just the opposite when you lose. I die and I die for
them, too. I die twice.
"It's much more fun when you win-win."
Vermeil took the 1980 Philadelphia Eagles to the Super Bowl, and
then retired two years later. He won the Super Bowl with the St.
Louis Rams after the 1999 season but then abruptly retired.
He returned to the NFL in 2001 with the Chiefs.
He was 44-36 with Kansas City and led the Chiefs to the AFC West
title in 2003, their only playoff appearance under him. He goes out
with a 125-114 log in 15 seasons in the NFL with Philadelphia
(1976-82), St. Louis (1997-99) and Kansas City.