2007 Excellence Honoree

One of the most distinguished coaching careers in National Football League history concluded when Dick Vermeil announced his retirement from professional football in 2006. Vermeil spent 15 seasons as an NFL head coach and was a member of the league’s coaching fraternity for 19 seasons. In addition, Vermeil has had a prestigious career as a football broadcaster, analyzing both NFL and college games.


Vermeil began his coaching career at the high-school level in 1959, after receiving bachelor’s and master’s degrees from San Jose State. He secured his first position as an NCAA Division 1 coach at Stanford by 1965. In 1974, he was named head coach of UCLA, where he led the Bruins to a Rose Bowl Championship.


Vermeil’s 15-year tenure as an NFL head coach began when he was chosen to guide the Philadelphia Eagles franchise in 1976. In seven seasons with the Eagles, Vermeil engineered four playoff appearances. The highlight came in 1980, when Philadelphia won the NFC Championship Game and advanced to Super Bowl XV. Vermeil retired in 1983.


Shortly after departing the sidelines in Philadelphia, Vermeil 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 1989 to 1996.


In 1997, Vermeil returned to the league as head coach of the St. Louis Rams, and led the team to its first Super Bowl victory after the ‘99 season. Vermeil again retired, but returned to the arena in 2001, when he was named the ninth head coach of the Chiefs. He retired from that franchise in 2006.


Vermeil and his wife, Carol, were active in a number of charitable endeavors during their time in Kansas City. Most notably, they served as chairs for the Chiefs Children’s Fund Benefit Game.


During his many years in the Philadelphia area – which he calls home – Vermeil has found the time to help many worthy causes. Numerous Philadelphia-area organizations have benefited from his involvement, including The Mary Campbell Center, The Second Mile Center, and The Boy Scouts of Chester County.


Vermeil recently began a second run as a broadcaster, serving as a color commentator for ESPN and the NFL Network. This summer, he participated in the first-ever NFL Broadcast Boot Camp, an initiative designed to assist athletes in their post-playing careers by providing training and hands-on experience in broadcasting and studio work.


Vermeil and his wife have three children and 11 grandchildren.