When Clark Hunt first took the reigns as Chairman of the Kansas City Chiefs, many fans were not sure how to take him. He was a very quiet person in public and seemed to be more invested in his soccer team than the NFL team that he had inherited. In 2006, when Lamar Hunt passed away, there were some very big shoes to fill. The question that lingered in my head was the same all along: Is Clark dedicated and the right person to do the job.
Clark has always been a very good student dating back to his days at Southern Methodist University. He graduated first in his class in 1987 and was also a captain of the soccer team. He graduated with a Master’s in Business Administration and was a two-time academic all-American. He also earned the school’s supreme academic award in two separate years. Hunt has showed this intelligence by bringing in consultants like Marty Shottenheimer to help gain some guidance and understanding of this immeasurable decision that he needs to make.
As his tenure at the top of the organization began, it didn’t seem as though Clark had much interest in the Chiefs. When he announced that Carl Peterson had resigned and he was separating the positions, I began to gain some trust in our chairman. I always thought it was unrealistic to have one man with three of the top titles in the organization. Clark decided to separate CEO, President, and general manager. To me, keeping all of the positions together would be like the President of the United States making all of the decisions as if there were no Congress or House of Representatives. There needs to be a check and balance so that one person’s ego doesn’t completely sour all aspects of the task at hand.
Skip forward to today, and again, I am very happy with the direction that Clark has decided to go. Many coaches would be very excited about the idea of dealing directly with the owner of the organization. I am still a bit confused on the decision (or lack thereof) to retain Pioli. But, by making this move, Clark has showed that he wants to be front and center and is willing to do what is necessary to get the right coach.
After reports rose that a nine hour meeting between Andy Reid and various members of the Chiefs brass had come to a close, many think that Clark has already made his decision. My opinion on Reid is still reserved, but I like how fast Clark moved to secure the interview. Flying to Philadelphia before Reid could interview with Arizona was the move of an owner that wants the best for his team.
As the forty-seven year old embarks on a decision that will affect the Chiefs for the foreseeable future, he has shown many signs that he is not in over his head. I’ve been very encouraged by the remarks he has made to the media and how he has tried to move so fast at the close of the 2012 season. If you had asked me if he was the right man for the job a year ago, I would not have been able to give a straight answer. Judging by his quick actions and media presence at such a low time in the organization, he has my support and confidence.