Matt Nagy has come full circle.
The Kansas City Chiefs promoted the former Bears head coach to offensive coordinator on Friday. For Nagy, it’s a return to a role he held for two seasons before becoming head coach at Chicago in 2018. Nagy led the Chiefs offense from 2016-17, the last few years with Alex Smith at quarterback.
A year after the Bears fired him, Nagy is once again just one step below head coach for an NFL franchise.
The position opened up because former Chiefs Offensive Coordinator Eric Bieniemy left to assume the same role for the Washington commanders.
Bieniemy had been the Chiefs’ offensive coordinator since Nagy left to join the Bears prior to the 2018 season. Bieniemy led the Chiefs offense to two Super Bowl titles and five straight AFC championship games, but was not hired as head coach.
Bieniemy’s perceived lateral move is believed to be an effort to escape the shadow of Chiefs head coach Andy Reid and quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Per USA Today, Bieniemy — who is black — has interviewed for head coaching jobs with at least 15 different franchises over the past few years and has yet to land a head coaching job.
Meanwhile, both of the Eagles’ white coordinators got head coaching gigs within days of losing the Super Bowl: defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon at the Arizona Cardinals and offensive coordinator Shane Steichen at the Indianapolis Colts.
After the Bears fired Nagy last year, he returned to Kansas City as a senior assistant and quarterbacks coach, working closely with Mahomes.
The 44-year-old Nagy has been one of Reid’s assistants for years. The two date back to 2008, when Nagy was working as a coaching intern with Reid’s Eagles. Nagy coached the Bears for four seasons, amassing a 34-31 regular season record with two playoff appearances.
If Nagy wants to be a head coach again, serving as offensive coordinator is the logical next step. He interviewed for the Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator job a few weeks ago, but the Titans went with Tim Kelly, an inside hire.