Colts Interview Chiefs OC Eric Bieniemy for Head Coaching Vacancy

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIJanuary 13, 2023

Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy coaches against the Las Vegas Raiders in an NFL football game, Saturday, Jan. 7, 2023, in Las Vegas, NV. Chiefs won 31-13. (AP Photo/Jeff Lewis)
AP Photo/Jeff Lewis

Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay announced that the team has completed an interview with Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy for its open head coaching position.

Bieniemy, 53, has been the Chiefs offensive coordinator since 2018. Kansas City has been top six in scoring all five seasons since then, including No. 1 in 2018 and 2022.

Prior to his OC stint, Bieniemy worked as the Chiefs running backs coach from 2013 to 2017. Kansas City had a 1,000-yard rusher in three of those five campaigns, including a breakout performance from then-rookie Kareem Hunt in 2017 (1,782 yards from scrimmage, 11 touchdowns).

Bieniemy starred at Colorado as a running back and helped the Buffaloes finish No. 1 in the final 1990 Associated Press poll, earning them co-champion status with Georgia Tech (No. 1 in the Coaches poll). He played in the NFL from 1991 to 1999, amassing 1,589 rushing yards and 11 scores across stints with the San Diego Chargers, Cincinnati Bengals and Philadelphia Eagles.

Bieniemy's coaching career began in 2001 as Colorado's running backs coach. He was with the Buffaloes for two years before moving on to UCLA as its running backs coach from 2003 to 2005.

He then moved on to the NFL, working as the Minnesota Vikings running backs coach from 2006 to 2009 before earning the assistant head coach title in 2010. He coached Adrian Peterson for the first four years of his career, all of which ended with Pro Bowl appearances.

Bieniemy returned to Colorado as its offensive coordinator before head coach Andy Reid added him to Kansas City's staff in 2013.

He was in Kansas City at the same time as current Colts general manager Chris Ballard, who was the Chiefs' director of player personnel in 2013 and 2014 before moving on to the director of football operations role in 2015 and 2016. Ballard then left for the Colts' GM gig in 2017.

The Indianapolis Colts are in the market for a new head coach after parting ways with Frank Reich following a 3-5-1 start to this season. Jeff Saturday took over on an interim basis and went 1-7.

Irsay announced earlier Thursday that the Colts had also completed interviews with Indianapolis special teams coordinator Bubba Ventrone and Denver Broncos defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero.