The Chicago Bears have a new head coach, hiring Indianapolis Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus, according to a league source.
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Matt Eberflus hired as Chicago Bears head coach
Eberflus, 51, beat out Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn (who also was a finalist with the Denver Broncos) and former Detroit Lions and Indianapolis Colts coach Jim Caldwell, 67.
Quinn will remain with the Cowboys after interviewing for multiple head coaching positions.
Eberflus is a former Cleveland Browns and Cowboys linebackers coach who was a college assistant at Toledo and Missouri. He hasn’t been a head coach before but is a highly regarded defensive strategist.
In the past four seasons in Indianapolis, Eberflus’ defenses have allowed the 10th-fewest points, had the second-most takeaways, and allowed the third-fewest yards per carry. Furthermore, they allowed 21 points or less in 31 of 65 games coached by Eberflus.
How Eberflus rose up the ranks
Eberflus and new Bears general manager Ryan Poles are both represented by Athletes First agent Trace Armstrong, a former Bears defensive end who has a strong relationship with ownership and team president Ted Phillips.
Eberflus made a strong presentation to ownership, Poles, and consultant Bill Polian, per sources. As a result, he replaces Matt Nagy — who Chicago fired after going 22-27 over the past three seasons.
College coach reflects on Eberflus’ potential
“Matt has got the ‘it’ factor; he had something special and you could see that right away when he was on the team because he was a really good player and a really good leader,” said retired Missouri coach Gary Pinkel, who coached Eberflus in college and hired him as a coach.
“He had the game figured out. Looking back at Matt Eberflus as a young man, and I knew he would excel. I hired him as one of the youngest college defensive coordinators in Division I at the time, and I got brutalized for it by people questioning the move at the time. I didn’t care because I knew he was going to do an exceptional job for us, and he helped us win division titles. Yes, I knew how good he was.
“Matt has got it. Nick Saban’s got it. It’s sincerity, being honest, looking people in the eye, letting people know you can trust this guy. He’s very sharp. He’s got a great football mind. It’s a tough job, but I think he’ll be a head football coach in the NFL, and I think he will be tremendously successful. The thing about Matt is he knows how to unite people and he’s consistent in how he treats them. He doesn’t treat a superstar differently from a rookie. That’s why players believe and trust in him. He’s a true leader.”