Kansas City Chiefs head coach Herm Edwards announced on Wednesday that he has named Chan Gailey as the club’s offensive coordinator. Gailey, who served as head coach of the Dallas Cowboys (’98-99), has previously served as an NFL offensive coordinator for Denver (’89-90), Pittsburgh (’96-97) and Miami (2000-01).
During his 14 previous seasons in the NFL, Gailey teams have made the playoffs 11 times, including his last eight seasons in the league. In addition, Gailey has coached in the Super Bowl on four occasions. The 34-year coaching veteran most recently served a six-year stint as the head coach at Georgia Tech (2002-07), where he compiled a 44-33 record and helped the Yellow Jackets earn six consecutive bowl bids.
“The best compliment that I can pay Chan Gailey is that he is tough,” Edwards commented. “He’s been through the battles as both a head coach and as an offensive coordinator. He’s called the plays and he has performed under pressure. But just as importantly, Chan is an excellent teacher. Wherever he’s coached, he has designed dynamic offenses to take full advantage of his players’ skills. He understands how to orchestrate a balanced offensive plan. He’s going to be a good fit for our philosophy and our football team. The Chiefs will be better because of Chan Gailey.”
“Of all the coordinators that I’ve had work for me, Chan Gailey was, if not the best, one of the best, and as resourceful an offensive mind that I’ve been around,” former Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Bill Cowher said of Gailey. “Moreover, his teaching skills are second to none.”
Gailey spent four seasons working under Cowher in Pittsburgh (’94-97). During that four-year run, the Steelers won four straight AFC Central crowns, appeared in three AFC Championship Games and earned a berth in Super Bowl XXX. With Gailey serving as offensive coordinator in ‘96, Pittsburgh ranked second in the NFL in rushing, averaging 143.7 yards per game. The following season under Gailey, the Steelers led the league in rushing, pounding out 154.9 yards per game. During the ‘97 campaign, Pittsburgh ranked sixth in the NFL in total offense (346.4 ypg) and was seventh in scoring (23.3 ppg).
Owning an extensive resume of offensive success, Gailey owns a total of 14 years of NFL coaching experience, including eight seasons as either a head coach or an offensive coordinator. Gailey’s teams qualified for the playoffs seven times during those eight seasons and boasted a 1,000-yard rusher in seven of those campaigns.
He compiled an 18-14 record as a head coach with Dallas and guided the Cowboys to two straight playoff appearances. His ‘98 Cowboys squad won the NFC East with a 10-6 record and ranked in the NFL’s top 10 in total offense (eighth – 340.6 ypg), rushing (eighth – 125.9 ypg), scoring (ninth – 23.8 ppg) and passing (ninth – 214.8 ypg). Dallas committed a league-low 15 turnovers in ‘98 and tied for third in the NFL with a +11 turnover differential. The Cowboys were fifth in the NFL with a +10 turnover mark the following season. Dallas also scored 37 rushing TDs from ‘98-99, the fourth-highest total in the NFL over that timeframe.
Gailey began his NFL career as an assistant under head coach Dan Reeves with the Denver Broncos from ‘85-90 and was a member of a Broncos coaching staff that guided Denver to three Super Bowl berths (XXI, XXII and XXIV). The Americus, Georgia native served as offensive coordinator/receivers coach (’89-90), quarterbacks coach (’88), tight ends/special teams coach (’86-87) and defensive assistant/special teams coach (’85). After departing Denver, he spent two seasons as head coach in the World League of American Football, leading the Birmingham Fire to the playoffs in both ‘91 and ‘92.
Miami posted back-to-back 11-5 records with Gailey serving as the Dolphins offensive coordinator in 2000-01 as the Dolphins qualified for the playoffs both of those seasons. Miami averaged 118.4 rushing yards per game that season, the club’s best rushing output since ‘84. The Dolphins ranked fifth in the NFL with a +15 turnover differential that season and tied for second in the league with just nine fumbles lost.
A former collegiate quarterback at the University of Florida, Gailey was a three-year letterwinner for the Gators. He began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Florida (’74-75) before coaching the defensive backs at Troy State (’76-78). Gailey spent four seasons on the defensive staff at Air Force (’79-82), serving as defensive coordinator his final two seasons with the Falcons. Prior to joining the NFL coaching ranks, he served as the head coach for two seasons at Troy State (’83-84), where he led the Trojans to the NCAA Division II National Championship in ‘84. He also enjoyed a one-year stint as the head coach at Samford in ‘93.
Gailey was an all-state quarterback at Americus High School in Americus, Georgia. He and his wife Laurie have two sons, Tate and Andrew and one grandson.