Report: Chiefs' Eric Bieniemy Expected to Be Contacted About Colorado HC Vacancy

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistFebruary 12, 2020

KANSAS CITY, MO - JANUARY 12: Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy watches pregame warmups prior to the AFC Divisional playoff game against the Houston Texans at Arrowhead Stadium on January 12, 2020 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images)
David Eulitt/Getty Images

The University of Colorado is reportedly expected to contact Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy about its head coaching vacancy.

According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, it is "hard to imagine" Bieniemy taking the job despite being a Colorado alum since he figures to be a top NFL head coaching candidate next offseason and would have a difficult time putting together a quality recruiting class and coaching staff at Colorado this late in the game.

The Colorado job opened up on Tuesday when Mel Tucker reportedly left to take the head coaching job at Michigan State following the retirement of Mark Dantonio.

The 50-year-old Bieniemy's name has been out there as an NFL head coaching candidate the past two offseasons, but he has inexplicably been passed over. After helping guide the Chiefs to a Super Bowl win over the San Francisco 49ers earlier this month, however, he figures to be among the top candidates next offseason.

Bieniemy was the Chiefs' running backs coach from 2013-17, but he was promoted to offensive coordinator in 2018, which coincided with Patrick Mahomes taking over as the starting quarterback.

With Bieniemy at the helm, Mahomes was named the NFL MVP in 2018 and led the Chiefs to three come-from-behind wins during the 2019-20 playoffs en route to their first Super Bowl championship in 50 years.

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Prior to his time with the Chiefs, Bieniemy coached at Colorado. He was the Buffaloes' running backs coach from 2001-02 and later returned to serve as offensive coordinator from 2011-12.

Bieniemy was also a star running back at Colorado. He twice topped the 1,000-yard mark with the Buffaloes, including 1,628 rushing yards and 17 rushing touchdowns as a senior in 1990.

He then enjoyed a nine-year NFL career with the San Diego Chargers, Cincinnati Bengals and Philadelphia Eagles.

While Colorado might be a great coaching fit for Bieniemy under different circumstances, this doesn't seem like the time to make the leap, especially with so many potential NFL opportunities waiting in the wings.

Also, Colorado is coming off of three consecutive 5-7 seasons, and it has reached just one bowl game in the past 12 seasons.

On top of that, 2019 starting quarterback Steven Montez graduated and star wide receiver Laviska Shenault Jr. entered the NFL draft, so the cupboards are pretty bare, and there isn't enough time for Bieniemy to recruit the players he needs for 2020.

Bieniemy should be the dream option for Colorado. There's no harm in reaching out, but it is tough to envision them coming together at this point unless the university offers Bieniemy a massive contract that he simply can't turn down.