INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. –The Indianapolis Colts have officially named Frank Reich their next head coach.
The team announced Sunday evening that he will be succeeding Chuck Pagano as the 20th coach in franchise history.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen were first to report the pending Colts-Reich union Sunday afternoon.
The press conference is set for Tuesday.
“We are extremely excited to announce Frank Reich as head coach of the Indianapolis Colts,” said Colts owner & CEO Jim Irsay. “Frank has all the ingredients of a successful head coach: intelligence, innovation, character, organizational and leadership skills, and a commanding presence. He also has a stellar reputation, and his myriad of life experiences and the people he has worked with make him the perfect fit for us and our fans. I feel extremely fortunate and could not be more excited for Colts Nation and the future of our franchise.”
The Colts announced last week they had agreed on a contract with Josh McDaniels to be their head coach, but the New England Patriots offensive coordinator stunned them by reneging on that agreement.
After McDaniels’ reversal, general manager Chris Ballard launched a second search that included interviews with New Orleans’ assistant Dan Campbell, Reich and Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier.
“We’ll move forward . . . and we will get the right leader for the Indianapolis Colts, one that believes what we believe and wants to go where we want to go,’’ Ballard said earlier this week.
“We’ve got work to do and I want somebody that’s 100 percent committed to partnering with us and getting that work done.’’
While unorthodox, a portion of Reich’s staff already is in place. Anticipating McDaniels’ arrival, three assistants had signed contracts: defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus, defensive line coach Mike Phair and offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo.
Reich, 56, brings a wealth of offensive experience to the organization. It also would be his second stint with the Colts. He was a member of the coaching staff from 2008-2011, first as an offensive assistant (2008), then quarterbacks coach (’09-’10) and finally as receivers coach (’11).
After launching his coaching career in Indy, Reich was receivers coach in Arizona (’12), and quarterbacks coach (’13) and offensive coordinator in San Diego (’14-’15) before being named the Eagles’ offensive coordinator in ’16.
Head coach Doug Pederson was the offensive play caller in Philadelphia, but Reich played an integral role in developing game plans and working with the quarterbacks. The Eagles won the franchise’s first Super Bowl last Sunday with a 41-33 victory over New England in Minneapolis even though they had to adjust from starter Carson Wentz to Nick Foles when Wentz suffered a season-ending knee injury in December.
As a player, Reich appeared in 118 games, 20 as a starter. He gained league-wide acclaim in the Buffalo Bills’ 1992 wild-card playoff meeting with Houston by directing the greatest comeback in postseason history. The Bills won 41-38 in overtime after trailing 35-3.
You can follow Mike Chappell on Twitter at @mchappell51.