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

Curtis Crabtree
ProFootball Talk on NBC Sports

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.

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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.

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