Approximately 17 years after he retired, legendary football coach Dick Vermeil, who guided the Eagles to Super Bowl XV and won Super Bowl XXXIV as coach of the St. Louis Rams, will finally be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a member of its Class of 2022.
Long considered one of Chester County’s most famous residents, Vermeil, 85, recently sat down with VISTA Today Publisher Ken Knickerbocker for a leadership profile in which he discussed, among other topics, the traits he believes enabled him to rise to the top of the coaching profession.
“I would say my blind passion, combined with my inherited work ethic that I learned from my dad,” Vermeil said. “He taught me that hard work is not a form of punishment. It’s a way to succeed and do what you want to do.”
In a statement, Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie said that “Dick elevated the standard for success for this franchise. … His passion and love for the game, his players, and our city are among the reasons he remains a beloved figure in Eagles history to this day.”
“When something like this happens … you start thinking about everybody that made a contribution and you’re sure hoping — I know I am — I am hoping everybody that’s been involved in my career in any capacity takes the time to appreciate the contribution they made to me,” Vermeil said on the Eagles Insider Podcast. “I’m the byproduct of the efforts of many great people. It’s a great feeling. I can’t tell you how many text messages I’ve gotten, but it is rewarding to know and have it reconfirmed how many people appreciated my approach to coaching, no matter how hard I worked. That’s very gratifying, and I’m very grateful.”
Prior to coaching professional football, Vermeil, who grew up in California, coached UCLA for two years and led the Bruins to a 9-2-1 record in 1975. UCLA capped that season with a victory over previously undefeated and top-ranked Ohio State in the Rose Bowl.
In 15 seasons as an NFL head coach of the Eagles, Rams, and Kansas City Chiefs, he compiled a 120-109 record and went 6-5 in the postseason.
“I know how deeply I appreciate the contributions of everybody around me,” Vermeil said. “I’m sincerely so grateful.”