Colts announce Eagles Frank Reich as new head coach

Frank Reich (Image courtesy Philadelphia Eagles)

INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) — The Indianapolis Colts and Eagles offensive coordinator Frank Reich have agreed for Reich to become the Colts next head coach.

Five days after New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels backed out on a deal with the Colts, the team hired Reich, whose Eagles' offense outplayed McDaniels' Patriots squad in last week's Super Bowl.

The Colts made the announcement shortly after 5:00 p.m. Sunday. Reich, who signed his contract earlier Sunday, rejoins the Colts after spending six years on the team’s coaching staff from 2006-11.

After announcing the hiring of Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels after the Super Bowl, only to have McDaniels back out, the Colts took the opportunity to convince skeptics that Reich had actually signed by posting pictures on the team's twitter account.

In essence, the Colts wound up hiring the winning offensive coordinator in the Super Bowl (Reich) over the one whose team lost (McDaniels).

“We are extremely excited to announce Frank Reich as head coach of the Indianapolis Colts,” said Colts owner & CEO Jim Irsay in a statement published on the team's website. “Frank has all the ingredients of a successful head coach: intelligence, innovation, character, organizational and leadership skills, and a commanding presence. He also has a stellar reputation, and his myriad of life experiences and the people he has worked with make him the perfect fit for us and our fans. I feel extremely fortunate and could not be more excited for Colts Nation and the future of our franchise."

“We are excited to have Frank Reich as our new head coach,” said Colts general manager Chris Ballard in a published statement. “Frank is a leader of men who will demand excellence from our players on and off the field. I look forward to working with Frank to deliver a championship-caliber team to the city of Indianapolis.”

Reich is expected to be formally introduced in a Tuesday press conference.

The NFL Network first reported Reich had agreed to a five year contract.

WTHR has confirmed a deal is close.

Reich, 56, emerged as the favorite for the job after meeting with Colts manager Chris Ballard Friday. The team also reportedly interviewed Saints assistant head coach Dan Campbell and Buffalo defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier.

Philadelphia Eagles offensive coordinator, Frank Reich (L) confers with Eagles coaches in a 2016 game against the Detroit Lions. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)

After playing quarterback at Maryland, Reich spent 14 years as an NFL quarterback before moving to coaching in 2006 with the Colts. After two seasons as a coaching intern, Reich was promoted to offensive assistant and a year later he was promoted to quarterbacks coach.

In 2009-10, he worked with Peyton Manning in Manning's final two seasons with Indianapolis, with Manning named the NFL MVP after he completed 393 of his 571 passing attempts for 4,500 yards and 33 touchdowns in 2009.

In 2011, Reich served as the wide receivers coach for the Colts. Manning missed all of that season due to injury but Pro Bowler Reggie Wayne and Pierre Garcon both caught more than 70 passes apiece from three different backup quarterbacks.

Reich moved on to coach wide receivers in Arizona in 2012, then took the quarterbacks coaching job in San Diego in 2013. He was promoted to offensive coordinator for the Chargers in 2014.

Eagles head coach Doug Pederson hired Reich in 2016 as the team's offensive coordinator. In two seasons leading the Eagles offense, Reich was instrumental in the team’s Super Bowl LII championship last Sunday.

Pederson issued a statement Sunday after the Colts announcement. "Frank is a tremendous coach and very deserving of this opportunity. He was a valuable member of our staff and we have all benefited from working with him over the last two years. As good as he is as a leader and teacher, he's an even better person. We could not be more excited for him as he takes this next step in his career and we wish him and his family all the best."

According to the Colts release announcing Reich, the Eagles "boasted one of the NFL’s best offenses in 2017."

Philadelphia ranked in the top-10 in numerous categories:

  • Yards per game (365.8 – seventh)
  • Rushing yards per game (132.2 – third)
  • Interception rate (1.60 – sixth)
  • First downs per game (21.1 – fourth)
  • Third down percentage (41.74 – eight)
  • Fourth down percentage (65.38 – third)
  • Red zone percentage (65.45 – first)
  • Goal to go percentage (83.33 – third)
  • Average time of possession (32:41 – first)
  • Points per game (28.6 – third)

Philadelphia had four offensive players selected to the Pro Bowl, guard Brandon Brooks, tight end Zach Ertz, tackle Lane Johnson and quarterback Carson Wentz.