Eric Bieniemy becomes logical candidate for Colorado job after Mel Tucker’s reported departure

Getty Images

Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy did not get the chance to become a head coach in the NFL this hiring cycle despite his involvement in several coaching searches last month. But if Bieniemy wants to become a head coach right now, an obvious opportunity may have just fallen into his lap at his alma mater.

According to Bruce Feldman of FOX Sports, Mel Tucker is leaving the University of Colorado after just one season as its head coach to take the head job at Michigan State. Tucker – a former defensive coordinator with the Cleveland Browns, Jacksonville Jaguars and Chicago Bears –  had told Michigan State he was content with his current job with the Buffaloes before a renewed push apparently swayed him to leave after all.

Colorado will now be scrambling to find a new head coach extremely late in the hiring cycle. With Bieniemy’s connections to the school, he seems certain to be considered for the job coming off a Super Bowl victory earlier this month.

Bieniemy is Colorado’s all-time leading rusher. He rushed for 3,940 yards with 4,351 all-purpose yards and 42 total touchdowns during his time in Boulder. He was a consensus All-American in 1990 as Colorado was named the national champion. Bieniemy would become a second-round pick of the San Diego Chargers in 1991.

Bieniemy spent two seasons as offensive coordinator at Colorado under head coach Jon Embree in 2011 and 2012. Bieniemy would join the Chiefs as a running backs coach in 2013 after Embree’s staff was dismissed after the 2012 season.

If Bieniemy’s ultimate goal is to become an NFL head coach, the argument could certainly be made that he would be better positioned for that move by staying in Kansas City and continuing to help orchestrate an offense supercharged by Patrick Mahomes at quarterback. But a call coming from his former school offering a head coaching job right now could be an enticing offer as well.

Regardless, it won’t require a search firm to be contracted to tell Colorado to put Bieniemy on their list of possible replacements.

18 responses to “Eric Bieniemy becomes logical candidate for Colorado job after Mel Tucker’s reported departure

  1. There no chance this happens.

    It would be a step down from his current job. Colorado is one of the worst jobs in the worst Power Five conference in the country.

  2. I think this would be the wrong move. He is highly thought of in the NFL. Why would he want to mess around with recruiting these post-millennials? He will eventually be a head coach in the NFL, and staying now as OC with that talent on the Chiefs is a no-brainer.

  3. The opposite argument can be made, just as well.
    Take Bill O’Brien. He was calling plays for the Patriots, jumped down to college football for two seasons, and the rest is history.
    Bieniemy might be well-served following suit, and then he can name his price in a season or two.

  4. Mel Tucker seems like a Nick saban bad timing and what about making Darian Hagan the Coach for now

  5. why take a job and get buried in a program with no recognition. if he leaves, another OC will eventually become flavor of the month and he will be forgotten.

  6. Would Mel Tucker have left after one season if Colorado was a really good job? This would be a big detour for Bieniemy and there’s no guarantee he would be successful. He should keep riding the Mahomes gravy train until an NFL job opens up.

  7. Bieniemy will get an opportunity to be a head coach in the NFL in the next year or two. I hope he’s patient enough to wait for his opportunity, and doesn’t take a college job at an undesirable university. I mean, the last guy left after one year, so that should tell you something.

  8. “Bieniemy spent two seasons as offensive coordinator at Colorado under head coach Jon Embree in 2011 and 2012. ”

    And those are roundly viewed as the absolute lowest point in the program’s history. They went 4-21 (1-11 in the second year) and were absolutely awful. The team was down prior but they sank to even further depths with Bienemy’s offense looking just as bad as the rest of the team.

  9. KC would love for EB to go to Colorado. Kafka would take over for EB in KC and he would be their HC in 2 years. Mahomes loves his QB coach.

    EB won’t be an NFL HC.

    We e all heard the sound bites, the spinning/twirling 4th down play was Reid’s and the 3rd and 15 pass to Tyreek, Mahomes called. EB is not the OC, Reid hasn’t had a true OC in 10 years.

    Nothing against EB, he’s just not HC material.

  10. Eric Bienemy will never be an NFL head coach. He is not cut out for it. He may not be a good head coach at CU either. His last job as offensive coordinator was a disaster but it’s hard to know how much of that was his fault. Embree could not even figure out how to use a headset let alone lead the program. I think CU football died today. I don’t see them ever coming back from this. They don’t have enough money to compete with lousy schools like MSU and they never will. If you can’t afford to pay then you shouldn’t play. Let’s move to a smaller conference and compete with other schools in our geographic region that are on our level.

  11. Schlereth covered this on the radio today. Another year or two with Mahomes and EB should get a chance as an NFL head coach. Why would he leave KC now for a college gig?

    Worst case scenario, EB can take this job in 5 years if he flames out in the NFL. The Buffs job seems to open up every few years anyway.

  12. I was thrilled when all the jobs filled up and Bienemy was left out in the cold. I want to see him succeed Pete Carroll in Seattle. Another year or two should do it. Come on universe, make it happen!

  13. I think eric deserves an nfl job. colorado could become a dead end for him i think he should stay in KC one more year so the chiefs can win one more SB before there cap goes crazy and then take a job in jacksonville or something.

  14. Being an assistant coach or coordinator in the NFL is far easier gig than trying to recruit high school kids to come to your university. Is he really a head coach? I don’t see it.

  15. If he stays with KC, he can continue to learn from one of the best while teaching one of the most promising young QBs in the last 20-30 years. If the man were in his 50s and his coaching window was shortening, then maybe he leaves.

    But if it’s me, I’m picking KC ribs and learning more from Coach Reid over anything Colorado might have to say.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.