Bears Add Former Eagles & Ex-Alabama Coaches to Staff

Bill McGovern Bears

Getty Linebackers Coach Bill McGovern is heading to Chicago.

The Chicago Bears are beginning to fill their numerous coaching vacancies. The retirement of defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano started a domino effect of sorts, with a slew of coaches on both sides of the ball leaving Chicago after the team’s season ended.

Now, after promoting former safeties coach Sean Desai to defensive coordinator last week, the new Bears’ coaching staff is beginning to take more shape. On Thursday, the team announced it had hired Chris Rumph as its new defensive line coach. Rumph will replace Jay Rodgers, who left to join Brandon Staley’s staff in Los Angeles.

Then, several hours later, Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune reported that the Bears would be hiring Bill McGovern as inside linebackers coach to replace Ted Monachino, who left Chicago to fulfill that same role with the Atlanta Falcons.

As Biggs noted, McGovern coached Luke Kuechly at Boston College, and he also knows Bears head coach Matt Nagy from his days in Philadelphia, where he was outside linebackers coach for three seasons from 2013-15. Now, he’ll get to work with talented second-team All-Pro Roquan Smith.

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Bill McGovern: A Refresher

McGovern will replace Mark DeLeone, who was inside linebackers coach for the Bears over the last two seasons. Before joining the Nebraska Cornhuskers as a defensive analyst in 2020, the journeyman coach spent four years coaching linebackers with the New York Giants.

McGovern also has past ties with Desai, when they coached together at Boston College. Desai served as the special teams coordinator/running backs coach for BC in 2012 when McGovern was also the team’s defensive coordinator/linebackers coach, so there’s a familiarity there.

Here’s a look at the veteran coach’s resumé:

  • University of Pennsylvania (1985) — Freshman coach
  • Holy Cross (1986–1987) — Assistant defensive backs coach
  • Massachusetts (1988–1990) — Defensive backs coach
  • Holy Cross (1991–1992) — Defensive backs coach/Kickers coach
  • Massachusetts (1993) — Defensive coordinator
  • Boston College (1994–1996) — Defensive backs coach
  • Pittsburgh (1997–1999) — Defensive backs coach
  • Boston College (2000–2008) — Linebackers coach
  • Boston College (2009–2012) — Defensive coordinator/Linebackers coach
  • Philadelphia Eagles (2013–2015) — Outside linebackers coach
  • New York Giants (2016–2018) — Linebackers coach
  • New York Giants (2019) –Inside linebackers coach
  • Nebraska (2020)–Defensive assistant

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Chris Rumph: Long-Time College Coach With History of Developing Players

Rumph spent 18 years coaching in the collegiate ranks before heading to the NFL to coach be the outside linebackers for the Texans this past season. He has a strong reputation for developing talent, with stints at Tennessee, Clemson and Alabama, among others.

Here’s a look at Rumph’s resumé:

  • Houston (2020) — Outside Linebackers Coach
  • Tennessee (2017 – 2020) — Outside Linebackers Coach
  • Tennessee (2017 – 2020) — Co-Defensive Coordinator
  • Florida (2015 – 2017) — Defensive Line Coach
  • Texas (2014 – 2015) — Defensive Line Coach
  • Alabama (2011 – 2014) — Defensive Line Coach
  • Clemson (2006 – 2010) — Defensive Ends Coach
  • Memphis (2003 – 2005) — Linebackers Coach

While some have speculated that the Bears’ disastrous year-end press conference and questionable leadership made several coaches choose to jump ship, it’s also possible a few wanted to explore new opportunities with old friends, which was likely the case for Rodgers and Staley with the Rams.

The Bears still need to find inside linebackers, safeties and running backs coaches, though, and a passing game coordinator, if they want to replace Dave Ragone’s role. Thus, there’s still more change coming to Halas Hall.

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