Bieniemy, a former NFL running back, has been a hot name in coaching circles since becoming the Chiefs’ offensive coordinator in 2018. Although Bieniemy has interviewed numerous times for a head coaching job, no team has followed through and hired the veteran coach.
In a recent interview, Bieniemy — who is Black — reflected on the NFL’s hiring trends and how he keeps himself from getting frustrated.
Eric Bieniemy has excelled with the Kansas City Chiefs
Perhaps the greatest mystery in the current NFL is why a team hasn’t hired Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy as a head coach.
Bieniemy, 51, has been the Chiefs’ OC since 2018. Patrick Mahomes debuted as the Chiefs’ full-time starting quarterback that same year and lit up the NFL for 50 passing touchdowns.
Newer names have also shined under Bieniemy. Rookie running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire ran for 803 yards and four touchdowns on 4.4 yards per carry this season, and he appears to have a bright future in Kansas City.
Under Bieniemy’s tutelage, young receiver Mecole Hardman has shown signs of growing into an explosive weapon.
NFL teams keep passing Bieniemy over for head coaching jobs
At this point, one must wonder what Eric Bieniemy will need to do to earn a head coaching job.
Media members have speculated that teams have passed Bieniemy over because he cannot interview until after the Chiefs’ season ends. Kansas City made the AFC championship game in each of his three years as the offensive coordinator.
Of course, the Chiefs also have played in the last two Super Bowls. The Chiefs’ extended seasons are arguably working against Bieniemy.
Lost in the Bieniemy narrative, and potentially hurting him, is a lengthy rap sheet dating back to his college days. Bieniemy’s off-field history includes separate no contest pleas for fighting in public and assaulting a firefighter, in addition to him allegedly grabbing a female parking attendant by the neck in 1993.
The Orlando Sentinel quoted an arrest report, where the attendant told police that Bieniemy threatened her in the process.
“She stated that the male who grabbed her said something about ‘a bunch of Black males all at once being her worst nightmare.’”
The University of Colorado Boulder, Bieniemy’s alma mater, banned him from its campus for one year following the assault incident. Bieniemy has not been in any known legal trouble since joining the Kansas City Chiefs.
Eric Bieniemy explained how he avoids getting frustrated
Eric Bieniemy won’t be in the NFL forever, but he isn’t publicly letting his lack of head coaching opportunities affect him.
In a recent interview with NBC Sports’ Peter King, Bieniemy explained why he doesn’t get overly frustrated or angry with the current hiring process.
“I am never going to allow any process outside of my control to frustrate me. It’s all part of my journey. Eric Bieniemy will continue to be himself, every day. And Eric Bieniemy will continue chopping wood. That’s all I know to do.”
Seven NFL teams hired head coaches not named Eric Bieniemy this offseason. Bieniemy and the Chiefs’ performance in Super Bowl 55 could raise the heat on the likes of Detroit’s Dan Campbell, Houston’s David Culley, and Jacksonville’s Urban Meyer to immediately perform at a high level.