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updated: 1/8/2018 8:29 PM

Chicago Bears hire Kansas City's Matt Nagy as new head coach

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  • Kansas City offensive coordinator Matt Nagy will become the 16th head coach of the Chicago Bears.

    Kansas City offensive coordinator Matt Nagy will become the 16th head coach of the Chicago Bears.
    Associated Press

 
 

General manager Ryan Pace wasted no time in naming Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Matt Nagy, 39, the Chicago Bears' new head coach.

Nagy was the sixth and final NFL assistant to interview with Pace. The two spoke on Sunday, a day after the Chiefs' upset loss to the Tennessee Titans in the wild-card round of the playoffs.

By moving quickly, Pace has given Nagy a larger pool of assistants to consider since there are four teams with openings that have yet to name their new head coach -- the Arizona Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, New York Giants and Detroit Lions.

Of the six teams that ended the 2017 regular season in search of a new head coach, only the Oakland Raiders filled their job before the Bears. They lured ESPN analyst Jon Gruden back to the sidelines with a 10-year deal reportedly worth close to $100 million.

The Bears' new head coach will be introduced at a Halas Hall news conference today at 1 p.m.

Will the Chicago Bears be able to keep defensive coordinator Vic Fangio? His contract expires Tuesday, and several teams are interested in hiring him to run their defense.
  Will the Chicago Bears be able to keep defensive coordinator Vic Fangio? His contract expires Tuesday, and several teams are interested in hiring him to run their defense. - Daniel White | Staff Photographer

Nagy's first order of business may be to retain defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, who was the first to interview for the Bears' head coaching job last Wednesday. Fangio's contract expires Tuesday, and it is expected to be a top candidate for several defensive-coordinator jobs.

Nagy will be the sixth current NFL head coach to have been an assistant under Reid, joining the Baltimore Ravens' John Harbaugh, the Carolina Panthers' Ron Rivera, the New York Jets' Todd Bowles, the Philadelphia Eagles' Doug Pederson, and the Buffalo Bills' Sean McDermott.

Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid, left, called Matt Nagy, right, the "best head coaching prospect" he's ever had."
Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid, left, called Matt Nagy, right, the "best head coaching prospect" he's ever had." - Associated Press

In November, Reid called Nagy the "best head coaching prospect" he has ever had.

Nagy was the Chiefs' offensive coordinator the past two seasons. He took over play-calling duties from head coach Andy Reid on Dec. 3. In the four games before Reid relinquished the decision-making role, the Chiefs were 1-3 and averaged 16 points and 300 yards per game. In the next four games, the Chiefs went 3-1, averaging 29 points and 421 yards.

Saturday, Nagy's offense rolled to a 21-3 halftime lead over the visiting Titans but was shut out in the second half of its 22-21 defeat. The Chiefs managed just 61 second-half yards, including 33 passing yards, as quarterback Alex Smith completed just 5 of 10 passes. He still finished with a 116.2 passer rating, 2 touchdowns and no interceptions.

Because the Chiefs seemed to lose their aggressiveness in the second half of that loss, Reid was asked if it whether he or Nagy were calling the plays.

"He called the good ones and I called the bad ones," Reid said. "We'll keep it at that."

Past offensive coordinators under Reid were heavily involved in game-planning, but Reid was always the one who called the plays. Allowing Nagy to take over play-calling duties showed the respect Reid had for the former University of Delaware quarterback.

Despite Saturday's second-half failure, the Chiefs' offense was one of the NFL's most explosive during the regular season, ranking fifth in yards and sixth in scoring. Smith led the NFL with a 104.7 passer rating, throwing for 4,045 yards, 26 touchdown passes and just 5 interceptions. His 67.5 completion percentage was third best in the league.

The Chiefs' offense featured a pair of 1,000-yard receivers and a 1,000-yard rusher.

Wide receiver Tyreek Hill, perhaps the NFL's fastest player, caught 75 passes for 1,183 yards (15.8-yard average) and had 7 TD catches, 5 of them longer than 55 yards. Tight end Travis Kelce caught 83 passes for 1,038 yards (12.5-yard average) and 8 touchdowns. Rookie Kareem Hunt led the NFL with 1,327 rushing yards, averaged 4.9 yards per carry and scored 8 touchdowns.

After helping Kansas City become one of the NFL's most explosive offenses, Matt Nagy has been hired to be the head coach of the Chicago Bears, which finished 30th in the NFL in total offense this season.
After helping Kansas City become one of the NFL's most explosive offenses, Matt Nagy has been hired to be the head coach of the Chicago Bears, which finished 30th in the NFL in total offense this season. - Associated Press

Now Nagy, the Bears' 16th head coach, must help develop quarterback Mitch Trubisky, who posted a 77.5 passer rating in an up-and-down rookie season.

Before becoming their offensive coordinator, Nagy was the Chiefs' quarterbacks coach from 2013-15 and helped Smith make his first Pro Bowl. The Manheim, Pa., native had a record-setting career at Delaware and then played quarterback for six years in the Arena Football League before becoming a part-time coaching intern with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2008 on Reid's staff.

Two years later, he walked away from a job as a realtor and took a sizable pay cut to accept a full-time job as a coaching assistant with the Eagles. For two years after that (2011-12) he was the Eagles' offensive quality control coach. Nagy followed Reid to Kansas City as the Chiefs' quarterbacks coach in 2013.

Nagy and his wife, Stacey, have four sons -- Brayden, Tate, Jaxon and Jett.

Nagy also interviewed with the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday for their head-coaching vacancy. He replaces John Fox, who was fired with a year left on his contract after compiling a 14-34 record over three seasons.

Pace began the interview process with Fangio, who was followed by Vikings defensive coordinator George Edwards on Thursday. Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur and Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels interviewed on Friday, and Eagles quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo met with Pace Saturday.

Follow Bob's Bears reports on Twitter @BobLeGere.

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