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Dick Vermeil In The Hall Of Fame Was Long Overdue

Former Eagles coach, Dick Vermeil, was finally inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Here is a recap of his memorable and storied career.

Pre Dick Vermeil Era

The Philadelphia Eagles went through a terrible time in the 1960s and 70s before the Dick Vermeil era. Their last winning season was in 1966 under coach Joe Kuharich who spent ten years coaching the Eagles.

Before Vermeil came to Philadelphia, he served two seasons in Pasadena coaching the UCLA Bruins from 1974-1975. He led the Bruins to a triumph in the Rose Bowl over the Ohio State Buckeyes. In 1975, Vermeil coached the Bruins to a 9-2-1 season and a share of the PAC 10 Championship.

Hiring Of Dick Vermeil

Before the search for a new head coach in Philadelphia, the Birds were coming off a 4-10 season in 1975 and finished 5th in the NFC East. Vermeil’s predecessor Mike McCormack was let go after three seasons with the Eagles.

In early 1976, Eagles owner Leonard Tose and General Manager Jim Murray started the search for a new head coach. Tose and Murray would head west to California and set their eyes on UCLA Head Coach Dick Vermeil. At first, Vermeil told them that he was not interested in the job after hearing stories about Eagles fans. Eventually, he would accept the job and become the Philadelphia Eagles 14th head coach.

The Dick Vermeil Era In Philadelphia

Vermeil’s first season would be tough as the Birds would finish 4-10. They were swept by their most hated rival, the Dallas Cowboys. Philadelphia was able to sweep their oldest enemy, the New York Giants.

Eagles fans would know that the Philadelphia Eagles’ 1976 season was based on the movie Invincible. Actor Mark Wahlberg played Vince Papale, and Head Coach Dick Vermeil was played by Greg Kinnear.

The 1977 Philadelphia Eagles season would not be any easier as they would have a 5-9 record. Yet again, they were swept by the Cowboys, and they were swept by the Washington Redskins. The Eagles would sweep the New York Giants, and they did not finish in last place in the NFC East.

In 1978 the Birds would head in the right direction with their first winning season since 1966. They would finish with a 9-7 regular season and a birth in the NFC Wildcard, but the Atlanta Falcons defeated them. Philadelphia finished second in the NFC East. Their most memorable game was the Miracle in the Meadowlands, when Herm Edwards recovered a fumble for a touchdown to beat the Giants.

When Dick Vermeil first arrived in Philadelphia, one of his goals was to beat the Dallas Cowboys. The Birds had not beaten the Cowboys since the 1974 season, and Eagles fans were ready to get a win over Philly’s most hated rival. On November 12th, 1979, the Eagles would finally beat the Cowboys 31-21 in Texas Stadium. The Eagles would finish the 1979 season on a high note with a 9-7 season and would host their first playoff game since 1960 by beating the Bears. Still, unfortunately, they would be defeated in the NFC Divisional Playoff at Tampa the following week.

The 1980 season was almost a dream season for the Philadelphia Eagles and Dick Vermeil. Philadelphia would win the NFC East with a 12-4 record and return to the playoffs for the second straight season. The Eagles would defeat their most significant enemy, the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC Championship 20-7 and head to New Orleans for the Super Bowl.

Philadelphia faced the Oakland Raiders in the Super Bowl, but unfortunately, they were defeated by 17 points. Dick Vermeil said the plane ride back to Philadelphia was not pleasant. He said when the plane landed, he just sat there on the plane, and it took him forever to get off. Coach Vermeil was an emotional person.

After the 1980 season, Vermeil led the Eagles for two more seasons. A 1982 player strike caused a significant setback for scheduling, allowing the Birds to play only nine games. The Eagles went just 3-6 in 1982 before Vermeil retired from coaching due to being emotionally burnt out.

Vermeil’s Post Eagles Career

Vermeil would spend 15 seasons as a sports announcer for CBS and ABC. He would, however, return to the sidelines as head coach for the St. Louis Rams from 1997-1999. One of the most outstanding coaching jobs of his career was taking future Hall of Fame quarterback Kurt Warner under his wing. Vermeil would win his first and only Super Bowl in January 2000 as the St. Louis Rams defeated the Tennessee Titans in Super Bowl XXXIV 23-16.

Vermeil would finish his coaching career for good with the Kansas City Chiefs after spending five seasons with them from 2001-2005. He would finish his career with a record of 120-109 when he finally retired after the 2005 season. In August of 2022, Vermeil was finally inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, after a long overdue wait.

In Conclusion

Coach Vermeil’s induction doesn’t have anything to do with how good of a coach he was, but he has great character. He was never afraid to show his emotions after a win or even a tough loss.

When I think about Dick Vermeil, I used to think about the movie Invincible. I also think about him helping transform QB Kurt Warner from one of the most challenging times of his life to turning him into a champion. Coach Vermeil was all about giving people chances and sticking his neck out for the most deserving player, and that’s why this induction was long overdue.

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It is great to see Dick Vermeil finally inducted into the Hall of Fame. Don’t forget to read our latest content and follow our Facebook and Twitter pages for more Eagles coverage!



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