Former Eagles Head Coach Coming To Town
The Greater Wilkes-Barre Friendly Sons of St. Patrick announced the guest speaker for their annual banquet will be Dick Vermeil, former NFL head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, St. Louis Rams, and Kansas City Chiefs. The annual dinner will be held at the Best Western Plus Genetti Hotel and Conference Center in Wilkes-Barre. on Friday March 16. Cocktail hour is at 5 p.m. and dinner is at 6:30. Tickets are $60 and can be purchased from any member of the society or by contacting ticket chairman Mike Ward at 570-417-1160. Vermeil, who retired from professional football in January 2006, spent 15 seasons as an NFL head coach and was a member of the league’s coaching fraternity for 19 seasons. He also served as a football broadcaster, analyzing both NFL and college games. In January, 2006, he was portrayed on the big screen by Greg Kinnear in the film Invincible. Vermeil began his coaching career on the high-school level in 1959. In 1969, George Allen hired Vermeil to become the first special teams coach in NFL history with the Los Angeles Rams. Following a four-year period as a Ram assistant, he was named head coach at UCLA in 1974, where he led the Bruins to a Rose Bowl Championship over the No. 1 ranked Ohio State Buckeyes on Jan. 1, 1976. His 15-year tenure as an NFL head coach began in 1976 with the Philadelphia Eagles franchise. In seven seasons with the Eagles, Vermeil engineered four playoff appearances, highlighted by an NFC Championship win over the Dallas Cowboys and a trip to Super Bowl XV vs. the Oakland Raiders in 1980. Vermeil retired following the 1982 season. He subsequently began a 14-year broadcasting career, serving as an NFL and college football analyst for CBS and ABC. In addition, he provided color commentary for the Kansas City Chiefs preseason television broadcasts from ’89-96. In 1997, Vermeil returned to the NFL as head coach of the St. Louis Rams, and led the team to its first Super Bowl victory after the ’99 season, beating the Tennessee Titans in Super Bowl XXXIV. This trip made Vermeil one of just four coaches in NFL history to lead two different teams to the Super Bowl. He retired again, but was recruited in 2001 as head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs. In his third season (2003), the Chiefs won their division with a 13 and 3 record and advanced into the NFL Playoffs, only to lose to the Indianapolis Colts. Vermeil is one of five NFL head coaches to lead three different teams into the playoffs. Following his fifth season with the Chiefs, Vermeil retired for the final time, leaving the Chiefs as the team’s third winningest coach. Vermeil and his wife, Carol, reside in Chester County.