The Chicago Bears hired Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Matt Nagy as their next head coach, the team confirmed Monday.
Serving under Andy Reid the past decade, Nagy has ascended to being one of the most respected young coaches in the game. That reputation took a bit of a hit on Saturday when the Chiefs blew a 21-3 second-half lead at home to the Tennessee Titans in a wild-card loss.
Nagy will have to answer more tough questions about that game, but he might have impressed GM Ryan Pace with his answers. The Bears interviewed Nagy for the job on Sunday, only hours after the Chiefs' loss.
The Bears are the first team to fill a head-coaching vacancy this offseason, moving swiftly in the process. Clearly the Bears loaded their candidate dance card with more offensive-minded coaches, as maximizing their possible franchise quarterback — Mitch Trubisky — is of paramount importance.
Perhaps the Bears also didn't want to wait to be beaten out for Nagy and get stuck with their third or fourth choice for head coach. Several of the assistants the Bears interviewed also have teams in action in this weekend's divisional-round games, so part of the strategy might have been trying to get ahead of the field a bit.
Another possible reason for the timing of the move: the status of defensive coordinator Vic Fangio. He's still under contract with the team for another day, and the Bears very much would like to retain him. It's possible Nagy could convince Fangio to stay to run a defense that showed steady improvement the past few seasons, which would be a boost to building a staff.
Other head-coaching candidates the Bears were known to have interviewed included New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur, Philadelphia Eagles quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo and Vikings defensive coordinator George Stewart.
Nagy first joined up with Reid with the Eagles in 2008 and rose in what has been a fertile coaching tree — both there and in Kansas City when Reid took the job there. Nagy has been Reid's offensive coordinator the past two seasons and took over play-calling duties midseason when the Chiefs' offense needed a spark.
A college quarterback at Delaware, Nagy will replace John Fox, who was fired following three seasons as head coach and a record of 14-34.
The Bears will introduce Nagy as their 16th head coach in franchise history at a press conference on Tuesday.