There are many people who helped the Kansas City Chiefs win Super LIV, one of them in particular being Eric Bieniemy. With his alma mater, Colorado University, looking for a new head coach, should Bieniemy consider the gig?
I have three reasons why Eric Bieniemy, the second-year offensive coordinator of the Kansas City Chiefs, should be open to becoming the new head coach of the Colorado Buffaloes, who just lost head coach Mel Tucker to Michigan State, and three reasons why Bieniemy should tell them to get the heck out of here.
Additionally, I’ve six other coaches the Buffs should target should Bieniemy say no.
As I often try to do, let’s start with the positive.
Why Bieniemy Should Listen
1. Head Coaching Positions Don’t Grow on Trees
More than any coach out there right now, Eric Bieniemy knows that head coaching offers don’t come along very often. Heck, there are only 32 such positions in the National Football League. That’s an exclusive club. And while there are considerably more in the college ranks, it’s still a chosen profession.
It would be hard, then, for any person to turn down such an offer. And that rarely happens. Think back to some up-and-coming coordinators recently in college football who took jobs that made you scratch your head. Ohio State defensive coordinator Chris Ash leaving to take over Rutgers? Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris leaving for SMU? Alabama offensive coordinator Mike Locksley leaving for Maryland?
On the surface, those moves seem odd. Very odd. Until you consider, hey: those guys are taking over programs. They’re becoming head coaches!
Always, I think back to former Mizzou defensive coordinator Dave Steckel when he left to take over as the head coach for Missouri State. Really? That’s the best Steck could do? It seemed so odd that a d-coordinator for a Power Five school would settle for a school that wasn’t even FBS.
But I also think back to what Steckel’s former boss, Gary Pinkel, had to say. Pinkel told USA Today that Steckel has “wanted to be a head coach for a long time now, and it’s exciting for all us that he’s got his chance[.]”
Translation: he finally got his opportunity, and he took it.
Maybe the same thing happens with Bieniemy, who has been constantly rebuffed by NFL franchises the past two years.
2. Return to Colorado
Bieniemy played for the Colorado Buffaloes from 1987-1990, rushing for over 1,600 and 17 touchdowns in 1990 when Colorado won the National Title. In all, he ran for 3,940 yards and scored 42 total touchdowns before getting selected in the second round of the 1990 draft by the San Diego Chargers.
After a nine-year NFL career between the Chargers, Bengals, and Eagles, he became Colorado’s running backs coach in 2001 at age 32. In 2011, after stints with UCLA and the Vikings, he returned to Colorado as the team’s new offensive coordinator.
It did not go well.
In two seasons in which he served as OC under head coach Jon Embree, the Buffaloes went 3-10 (2-7) and 1-11 (1-8).
But he immediately caught on with the Chiefs, where he first coached running backs before taking over for Matt Nagy as the team’s offensive coordinator in 2018.
Now older, wiser, considerably more accomplished, and a champion, he could return to Colorado (which is under new administration than when he previously coached there) with a chance to build a program from the bottom-up, and mold it to his liking.
3. Pac-12 South is There for the Taking
It probably doesn’t hurt that the Buffaloes are in the Pac-12 South, and not the North. Sure, there are other good programs in the South, such as Utah and USC, but USC is down right now, and Colorado appears to have the capacity to compete with, if not overtake, the Utes.
It’s a weak conference, is my point. It’s not like he’s walking into Rutgers, a horrible program that’s been horrible but for a couple of outlier years and that’s stuck in a conference that continually pummels it.
No, it’s Colorado, a somewhat storied program that just hasn’t made a name for itself yet since bolting the Big XII back in 2010. This is a program that won 10 games just four years ago. And it’s a program that was somehow able to coax away Georgia’s defensive coordinator.
Bieniemy could do worse. If he takes the Colorado gig, he could potentially be winning division titles in the next couple of seasons.