Bucs-Chiefs a reunion for Dirk Koetter, Andy Reid
At this point, you're probably tired of reading stories about old coaching connections to Bucs coach Dirk Koetter, but here's one more this week: Koetter and Chiefs coach Andy Reid were young college assistants together at three schools for six seasons from 1985-91, and Koetter even helped Reid get one of those jobs.
Koetter and Reid coached together at Division II San Francisco State in 1985, and a year after Koetter moved on to coach at UTEP, the Miners needed an offensive line coach, and Koetter recommended Reid to head coach Bob Stull, now back at UTEP as athletic director.
"Dirk said 'You need to interview Andy Reid. We worked together at San Francisco State,'" said Stull, who was a guest of the Koetters at Sunday's home win, watching the game from the family's box. "I was an offensive line guy, so we brought him in and I hit him with an offensive line question. Two hours later, I was pretty convinced he knew what the hell he was talking about. Both of them were, No. 1, had a passion for the sport and No. 2, they were on the cutting edge of what was going on as far as technique and strategy and schemes. They were on top of all those, they could communicate well with players and they had a great work ethic. Both of them were great hires, obviously."
With Koetter as offensive coordinator and Reid coaching the offensive line, UTEP went 10-3 in 1988, and Stull became the head coach at Missouri, taking his staff with him. Koetter and Reid would coach together there for three more years before Reid left to become a Packers assistant in 1992, sending him down his path to NFL success.
"Andy was a great offensive line technician, really detailed in what he did, and had a way with players where he could get after them, but they always knew he had their backs," said Stull, who keeps in touch with both coaches. "He pushed them hard, but had a great sense of humor, could laugh at himself, was really well-liked. Dirk was the same thing, such a great technician and everybody had such great respect for him. He wasn't a whole lot older than the guys who were playing, so he could relate really well. He was a great strategist, too."
As for hiring Koetter in the first place at UTEP in 1986, Stull said his goal was to find "a really bright quarterbacks coach who knew the West Coast offense," and he reached out to then-Cal coach Keith Gilbertson and asked him who the best young QBs coach on the West Coast was, he recommended Koetter.
Reid's current Chiefs staff has other coaches who go way back with him and Koetter -- special-teams coordinator Dave Toub was with them at UTEP and Missouri, and tight ends coach Tom Melvin was with them as a graduate assistant at San Francisco State in 1985. One more connection -- Bucs tight ends coach Jon Embree, who was a Chiefs assistant from 2006-08, now has his son Taylor on Kansas City's staff as a defensive assistant.