This past Saturday, the Pro Football Hall of Fame inducted eight new members into their rightful place in Canton, Ohio. Among them was Philadelphia Eagles’ former head coach Dick Vermeil.
Officially a member of the @ProFootballHOF. Congratulations, Coach Vermeil!#EaglesEverywhere are proud.
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) August 6, 2022
Vermeil coached the Eagles from 1976-1982, bringing the team out of a losing draught and leading them to the franchise’s first-ever Super Bowl run. As the 28th head coach inducted into the Hall of Fame, Vermeil thanked all those who helped him achieve this weekend’s monumental moment, recalling memories from his time in Philadelphia.
DICK VERMEIL’S RUN WITH THE EAGLES
Beginning his coaching career as a high school assistant coach, Vermeil became head coach for UCLA in 1974. In two season, he finished with a 15-5-3 record, leading the team to their first conference championship in ten years. That year, UCLA beat the undefeated Ohio State in the Rose Bowl — a game that led him directly to the Eagles.
After trying to reshape the Eagles for two seasons, Vermeil led the Birds in 1979 to their first playoff berth since 1960, going 11-5. The following year, the Eagles had the franchise’s first-ever Super Bowl run after defeating the Dallas Cowboys for the NFC Championship.
Vermeil became one of Philadelphia’s most prominent figures. He retired in 1983, taking a 15 year hiatus before he returned to coaching in 1997 for the St. Louis Rams. After three seasons, he led the Rams to their first Super Bowl victory, and was named NFL Coach of the Year for the second time. Vermeil then transitioned to the Kansas City Chiefs before retiring a second time in 2005.
PRO FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME INDUCTION
On Saturday, August 6, Dick Vermeil was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, recounting all of his memories, especially with the Eagles.
“To be selected now as the 28th NFL head coach to be put in this position to accept a Hall of Fame honor as a football coach is an expectation I never, ever held high in my life at any time. Two years ago, I started heading rumors. And I said, ‘Well, maybe sometime it’ll happen, I don’t know.’ But, you know, I just never put myself in the same category of those other 27 coach, so I am deeply in debt to so many contributors to my career. In fact, I’m so in debt to so many people, in the time that they allotted me to speak, I won’t be able to cover all the bases adequately.”
Vermeil continued to thank multiple people from his Eagles’ past, including Wilbert Montgomery and John Bunting who were both former players who eventually coached under Dick.
“Wilbert was responsible for so much of the success we had in Philadelphia, and I made a coach out of him. The players used to call him Wilbert Vermeil. They knew how much I loved you.”
He also paid homage to Philadelphia fans, and to Andy Reid who was present in Canton when Vermeil accepted his induction.
Vermeil received honors alongside Cliff Branch, Bryant Young, Tony Boselli, Art McNally, Richard Seymour, Sam Mills, and LeRoy Butler.