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Vermeil Done


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http://www.sportsline.com/nfl/story/9131316

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Dick Vermeil told the Kansas City Chiefs on Saturday that he will retire as coach at the end of the season, the Kansas City Star reported.

Lynn Stiles, the Chiefs' vice president for football operations, told the newspaper that the 69-year-old Vermeil informed his players and coaches about his decision at a team meeting.

Stiles, who was at meeting, said Vermeil appeared at peace with his decision.

"I know so. ... It's the right thing for him to do, for his family, and it's the right thing to do for the organization," Stiles said.

Kansas City (9-6) could reach the playoffs by beating Cincinnati at home Sunday and having Detroit beat Pittsburgh.

The Star said Vermeil declined an interview request, preferring to spend what could be his final night as a head coach with players, staff, family and friends. Vermeil's wife, Carol, told The Associated Press that he was not available for comment.

Vermeil, in his fifth season with the Chiefs, took the 1980 Philadelphia Eagles to the Super Bowl, and won the Super Bowl with the St. Louis Rams after the 1999 season. He retired after the Super Bowl win and returned to the NFL in 2001 with the Chiefs.

He's 43-36 with Kansas City and led the Chiefs to the AFC West title in 2003, the only time the team has advanced to the playoffs in his tenure. The former UCLA head coach is 124-114 in 15 seasons in the NFL with Philadelphia (1976-82), St. Louis (1997-99) and Kansas City.

The emotional California native, who maintains a small winery in the Napa Valley, has a unique distinction among of coaches. He has been honored as a coach of the year at the high school, junior college, major college and NFL level.

He took UCLA to the Rose Bowl in 1975 and upset No. 1 Ohio State, allowing Oklahoma to grab the national championship later that night by winning in the Orange Bowl.

He guided the Eagles, his first NFL team, to their first playoff appearance in 12 years and then led the 1980 team to the Super Bowl.

After a 14-year absence, which he spent as a football broadcaster, he returned to coaching and took the Rams to the Super Bowl title in only three years. He abruptly retired a few weeks later and was persuaded by Chiefs general manager Carl Peterson, an old friend from his UCLA and Philadelphia days, to take over in Kansas City.

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Vermeil should never have retired from the Rams to begin with, so I don't care what he does now cause he'll probably be lured back again.

As for Herm, I hope he stays in New York. He's a superb coach. How the Jets did this year shouldn't reflect on his ability to lead a team.

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I hate the Chiefs, but I like Dick Vermeil. I respect the relationships that he has with his players. You don't see it to that extent much in football, and it's refreshing to see a player that cares that much about his players.

I figured he was going to retire after he went for it on 4th down against the Raiders to win the game. That wasn't a move I expected him to make in a million years, and it gave me the feeling that this was his last year. It's one thing to play conservative and have it possibly cost you a spot in the playoffs one year -- it's quite another when it happens in your last season, if you guys understand what I'm trying to say.

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I wish him well. I had the good fortune to meet Vermeil at an awards dinner in Philadelphia a few years ago, before he even came back to coach the Rams. He is a genuinely nice, friendly person. That crying is not an act - he cares that much. He cares to the point that it's probably detrimental. He puts every part of himself into his work, and I think it's why he burns out and why he acts the way he does. He's got his ring, his legacy is fine. I hope he's happy after coaching, and he can resist the lure to come back. He's pushing 70 as it is; I think this is it.

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