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Report: Ex-Cowboys HC Chan Gailey Ends Retirement to Become Dolphins OC

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorDecember 31, 2019

New York Jets offensive coordinator Chan Gailey talks to reporters after NFL football practice in Florham Park, N.J., Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016. Gailey was Todd Bowles' hand-picked offensive coordinator when he was hired as Jets coach last year. After a terrific 2015 season, the Jets are struggling mightily on offense, have switched quarterbacks, and it's on Gailey to get things turned around, and quickly. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
Seth Wenig/Associated Press

The Miami Dolphins have chosen ex-NFL head coach Chan Gailey as their new offensive coordinator one day after relieving OC Chad O'Shea of his duties.

Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reported the news on Gailey, who coached the Dallas Cowboys from 1998 to 1999 and the Buffalo Bills from 2010 to 2012. He amassed a 34-46 record over five seasons.

Rapoport provided more context on the move:

Ian Rapoport @RapSheet

The #Dolphins moved on from OC Chad O’Shea, who impressed late in the season when Fitz took over… and are hiring Chad Gailey, an original spread offense maven who takes this offense in a non-#Patriots direction. Gailey will run the show and tutor whichever new QB comes in.

The 67-year-old Gailey's last stint in the NFL was a two-year tenure as the New York Jets' offensive coordinator. He retired after the 2016 season.

Gailey has 43 years of coaching experience at the professional or collegiate ranks, beginning with a stop in Florida as a graduate assistant from 1974 to 1975.

He was also a college head coach for nine years, going 68-43 for Troy State, Samford and Georgia Tech. Gailey led Troy State to the Division II National Championship in 1984.

Gailey has also been an NFL offensive coordinator for nine seasons with the Denver Broncos, Pittsburgh Steelers, Kansas City Chiefs, Jets and Dolphins. He was with Miami under head coach Dave Wannstedt from 2000 to 2001.

As for what personnel groupings Gailey might run, Mike Clay of ESPN noted that he went heavy on four-wideout sets with the Jets:

Mike Clay @MikeClayNFL

Whoa - Chan Gailey is back. The last time we saw him, he was super heavy on 4 WR sets. When passing during 2015-16 as the Jets OC: 2015: 3+ WR sets: 89% 4+ WR sets: 51% 2016: 3+ WR sets: 86% 4+ WR sets: 46%

Perhaps circumstances will change with different personnel and a new head coach in Miami, but what's all but certain is that Gailey will be working with a new franchise quarterback.

Ryan Fitzpatrick excelled as the Dolphins' starter at the end of the year and led a team expected to be at the bottom of the standings to a respectable 5-4 finish. However, the 37-year-old Fitzpatrick is finishing his 15th NFL season and has not committed to another campaign.

Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is the popular choice in many mock drafts to land fifth overall to the Dolphins, and Matt Miller of Bleacher Report placed him there in his latest regular-season list.

We'll see where the Dolphins go soon enough when choosing a new signal-caller, but for now, Gailey is the man tasked with helping Miami's offense take another step forward after achieving late-season success in 2019.