Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy grabbed national attention this week in regards to USC’s head coaching vacancy. Bieniemy, a Southern California native, is an emerging candidate for the job and has in the past told those close to him that USC is one of the only college jobs that might interest him, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
When asked about his potential interest in the University of Southern California job Bieniemy was dismissive of the situation.
“I am where my feet are.”
ALL the latest Chiefs news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Chiefs newsletter here!
Bieniemy Sounds Off
OK — that was only part of what he said. Let’s add full context here.
“I think you guys know me better than that,” Bieniemy said during his Wednesday presser when asked what his response would be if USC reached out to ask if he was interested in the job. “If USC reached out to me right now, my answer would be, ‘I am preparing for this team to play against the Baltimore Ravens.’ And that’s how I roll, you guys know that. I am where my feet are. My job is to make sure that we’re ready to play a complete, sound 60-minute football game where we can come out and win the game.”
Should we have expected anything else? No. It would be uncharacteristic of Bieniemy to acknowledge in any way if he was interested in the job, simply because he’s focused on his job of helping the Chiefs make their way to third straight Super Bowl. However, when the season is over one has to assume he will entertain the idea of becoming the next head coach of USC especially if they reach out to him.
“I haven’t really talked to him in depth about that, but I know he’s from that area,” Reid said on Wednesday when asked about the report linking Bieniemy to the USC head coach job. “He’s going to be great wherever he goes and I’m his biggest fan. If he wants to go there or wherever he wants to go, they’re lucky to have him.”
USC fired head coach Clay Helton on Monday, according to the school’s athletic director, Mike Bohn, after the program opened the PAC-12 portion of its schedule this past weekend with a 42-28 loss to Stanford. Helton became the full-time head coach of USC in 2015, and amassed a 46-24 record during his tenure, per Sports Reference, which was highlighted by a 2016 Rose Bowl win.
Donte Williams, USC’s associate head coach who is regarded as one of the nation’s top recruiters, per the school’s website, was named interim head coach following the firing of Helton.
Bieniemy’s NFL Resume
Bieniemy began his coaching tenure in the NFL as a running backs coach for the Minnesota Vikings in 2006, per Pro Sports Reference. After five seasons in Minnesota, he opted to head to the collegiate ranks, where he became the offensive coordinator for Colorado for the 2011 and 2012 seasons. Bieniemy then made his way back to the NFL, taking a job as the running backs coach for the Chiefs in 2013.
After five years in that role, Bieniemy was promoted to offensive coordinator in 2018, which was the same year Patrick Mahomes was named the starting quarterback for the Chiefs. Since then, Kansas City’s offense has ranked top seven in the league in yards and touchdowns and has been top two in the league since 2019 in interceptions thrown, per Pro Sports Reference.
“You guys know how I feel about Eric,” Chiefs head coach Andy Reid said of Bienemy and his ability to be a head coach back in 2020. “I think he’d be tremendous. There’s a team out there — I don’t know the team, but there’s a team out there — that could really use him. Being the leader of men that he is, you’re not going to find people better than that in that category. And he’s a sharp offensive mind on top of that. So I’m a big fan. Don’t want to lose him, but reality is, there’s a good chance that happens.”
Bieniemy started off the 2021 regular season with another strong coaching performance. Kansas City’s offense scored 33 points and posted 397 yards of offense against the Cleveland Browns, who had one of the top-ranked defenses in the NFL heading into the season. Mahomes completed 27 of 36 pass attempts for 337 yards and four total touchdowns (three passing, one rushing). Wide receiver Tyreek Hill caught 11 balls for 197 yards and a touchdown, and tight end Travis Kelce caught six passes for 76 yards and two touchdowns, per ESPN’s box score.