American Football Database
Brad Childress
Head shot of bald white man (Brad Childress) with headset
Childress in November 2007
Chicago Bears
Position:Senior offensive assistant
Personal information
Born: (1956-06-27) June 27, 1956 (age 66)
Aurora, Illinois
Career information
High school:Aurora (IL) Marmion Academy
College:Eastern Illinois
Career history
As coach:
* Illinois (1978–1980)
Running backs coach
  • Illinois (1981–1984)
    Wide receivers coach
  • Indianapolis Colts (1985)
    Quarterbacks coach
  • Northern Arizona (1986–1989)
    Offensive coordinator
  • Utah (1990)
    Wide receivers coach
  • Wisconsin (1991–1993)
    Running backs coach
  • Wisconsin (1994–1998)
    Offensive coordinator
  • Philadelphia Eagles (1999–2001)
    Quarterbacks coach
  • Philadelphia Eagles (2002–2005)
    Offensive coordinator
  • Minnesota Vikings (2006–2010)
    Head coach
  • Cleveland Browns (2012)
    Offensive coordinator
  • Kansas City Chiefs (2013–2015)
    Spread game analyst
  • Kansas City Chiefs (2016)
    Offensive coordinator
  • Kansas City Chiefs (2017)
    Assistant head coach
  • Chicago Bears (2018)
    Offensive analyst
  • Chicago Bears (2019–present)
    Senior offensive assistant
Head coaching record
Regular season:.527
Coaching stats at PFR

Bradley Childress (born June 27, 1956) is an American football coach who is currently a senior offensive assistant for the Chicago Bears of the National Football League (NFL). He has worked for over thirty years as a coach for various college programs and NFL franchises and previously was head coach of the Minnesota Vikings.

Early life

He attended high school at the Marmion Academy in Aurora, Illinois.[1] Childress is a 1978 graduate of Eastern Illinois University,[2] where he preceded current New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton.[2] Childress attended Eastern Illinois after playing quarterback and wide receiver at the University of Illinois.[1] Childress suffered an injury before ever playing for Eastern Illinois.[3][4] He was one of three Eastern Illinois University alums who have been head coaches in the NFL, along with Sean Payton and Mike Shanahan. Prior to his hiring by the Vikings, Childress had worked exclusively as an offensive coach, working his way up through the ranks at various colleges and NFL organizations, first as a position coach, culminating with his offensive coordinator position with the Eagles.[5]

Coaching career

College coaching

During the last four seasons of his tenure on the University of Illinois' coaching staff, the Illini posted four consecutive winning seasons ('81–'84),[6] including a Big Ten championship and a trip to the Rose Bowl in 1983.[7] Childress followed stints with the Indianapolis Colts, Northern Arizona, and the University of Utah with a successful run at the University of Wisconsin. Childress was the offensive coordinator under former Badger head coach Barry Alvarez,[8] and directed offenses that helped the Badgers to five bowl game appearances from 1993–1998, including two Rose Bowls as Big Ten co-champions following the 1993 and 1998 seasons.[7] He coached running back Ron Dayne for three seasons. Dayne went on to win the 1999 Heisman Trophy and finished his career as the all-time leading rusher in the Football Bowl Subdivision.[9]

Philadelphia Eagles (1999–2005)

Childress joined the Philadelphia Eagles for the 1999 NFL season, and helped the team to three consecutive trips to the NFC Championship game (2001–03), and a Super Bowl trip in 2004.[10] Andy Reid, the Eagles' head coach, had previously worked with Childress at Northern Arizona University, a staff that also included future NFL coaches Bill Callahan and Marty Mornhinweg.[11] While Childress did not call plays for the Eagles (this responsibility was taken by Andy Reid), he did receive credit for his work with quarterback Donovan McNabb, who was named to five Pro Bowls during his time with Childress.[12]

Minnesota Vikings (2006–2010)

On January 6, 2006, Childress was hired to be the 7th head coach of the Minnesota Vikings. This choice was the result of a short selection process. Former coach Mike Tice was informed that his contract would not be renewed shortly after the Vikings' last game of the 2005 season on December 31. Four candidates were interviewed by the Vikings: Childress, Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Al Saunders, Indianapolis Colts assistant head coach Jim Caldwell, and former Vikings defensive coordinator Ted Cottrell.[12]

The Vikings were 9–7 with Mike Tice the year before Childress was named head coach. After going 6–10 in his first year, the team went 8–8 in his second season, narrowly missing a playoff berth. This was followed by a 10–6 record and NFC North title while battling the fourth-toughest schedule in the NFL. However, the Vikings were defeated by the #6 seed Philadelphia Eagles 26–14 in the first round of the 2009 playoffs.[citation needed]

On November 19, 2009, the Vikings announced they would be extending Childress's contract through the 2013 season. The owner Zygi Wilf was cited as saying, “Brad has done a tremendous job leading this football team and we value the positive environment he has created for the Minnesota Vikings on and off the field, He has continued to positively impact this team and create a strong foundation for future success."[13]

Partly due to frustration with the development of quarterback Tarvaris Jackson, the Vikings signed Brett Favre for the 2009 season. Favre joined to the team after a controversial courtship which included Childress picking him up at the airport.[14] Favre led the Vikings to a 12–4 season, losing to the New Orleans Saints in the NFC Championship Game.[citation needed]

The Vikings acquired wide receiver Randy Moss and a seventh-round selection in the 2012 NFL Draft from the New England Patriots in early October 2010 in exchange for the Vikings' third-round selection in the 2011 Draft. Just four weeks later he was waived under Childress' direction, incurring the wrath of Viking fans. ESPN reported that Childress did not consider consulting with team owner Zygi Wilf on this decision.[15] After the unilateral decision to cut Moss, Childress' integrity was questioned by at least one former Vikings beat reporter.[16]

Childress was fired on November 22, 2010, following a 31–3 home loss to the Green Bay Packers which dropped the team to 3–7 on the year.[17]

Cleveland Browns (2012)

On January 27, 2012, Childress became the Cleveland Browns offensive coordinator. He lasted just one season in Cleveland, and was let go at the end of the year along with Head Coach Pat Shurmur and the rest of the coaching staff.[18]

Kansas City Chiefs (2013–2017)

On March 28, 2013, new head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs Andy Reid hired Childress as the spread game analyst and special projects coordinator, a position he stayed at for three seasons. On January 18, 2016, he was promoted to co-offensive coordinator with Matt Nagy; during games, Childress worked from a stadium skybox and Nagy on the sidelines.[19] On February 13, 2017, Childress was promoted to assistant head coach.[20] Childress announced his retirement on January 8, 2018, following a wildcard round playoff loss to the Tennessee Titans.

Atlanta Legends (2019)

On April 25, 2018, the Alliance of American Football announced Childress would serve as head coach of the Atlanta Legends starting with the inaugural 2019 season.[21] On January 9, 2019, one month before the team's first game, Childress resigned, with defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle succeeding him.[22]

In a 2019 interview with the Chicago Sun-Times, Childress explained his decision was spurred by doubts about the AAF's long-term viability prior to the start of the 2019 season. The league would fold midseason for financial troubles.[23]

Chicago Bears (2018, 2019–present)

On February 27, 2018, Childress came out of retirement to reunite with Nagy on the Chicago Bears as an offensive consultant.[24] Serving through the 2018 offseason and training camp, Childress assisted Nagy in developing and installing his offense.[25]

Childress rejoined the Bears on May 1, 2019 as the senior offensive assistant.[25]

Coaching tree

NFL head coaches under whom Childress has served:

Assistant coaches under Childress who became NCAA or NFL head coaches:

Head coaching record

Team Year Regular Season Post Season
Won Lost Ties Win % Finish Won Lost Win % Result
MIN 2006 6 10 0 .375 3rd in NFC North
MIN 2007 8 8 0 .500 2nd in NFC North
MIN 2008 10 6 0 .625 1st in NFC North 0 1 .000 Lost to Philadelphia Eagles in NFC Wild-Card Game.
MIN 2009 12 4 0 .750 1st in NFC North 1 1 .500 Lost to New Orleans Saints in NFC Championship Game.
MIN 2010 3 7 0 .300 4th in NFC North Fired.
NFL Total[26] 39 35 0 .527 1 2 .333


  1. 1.0 1.1 LeGere, Bob. "Things weren't always so good for Vikings coach Childress." Archived April 9, 2016, at the Wayback Machine Daily Herald, January 21, 2010. Retrieved March 28, 2016.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "2009 Eastern Illinois Media Guide.", pp. 84, 91. Retrieved September 29, 2013.
  3. "Eastern Illinois has produced top NFL coaches - including Sean Payton, Brad Childress".
  4. "Eastern Illinois NFL Alums Romo, Garoppolo, Payton".
  5. "Eastern Illinois University :: Notable Alumni" (in en). Retrieved September 5, 2018.
  6. "Illinois Fighting Illini Index." Archived April 3, 2016, at the Wayback Machine Retrieved March 28, 2016.
  7. 7.0 7.1 "Rose Bowl History, Scores, Results." Retrieved September 29, 2013.
  8. "Barry Alvarez." Retrieved September 30, 2013.
  9. "2009 NCAA Division I Football Records." Retrieved September 30, 2013.
  10. "Philadelphia Eagles Team Encyclopedia." Retrieved September 29, 2013.
  11. "6 Degrees of Separation: NFL Playoffs and NAU." Archived April 9, 2016, at the Wayback Machine Retrieved March 28, 2016.
  12. 12.0 12.1 Zulgad, Judd, and Sid Hartman "Vikings set to pick Brad Childress." Archived March 4, 2010, at the Wayback Machine, January 5, 2006. Retrieved September 29, 2013.
  13. "Vikings Extend Contract of Head Coach Brad Childress.", November 19, 2009. Retrieved September 29, 2013.
  14. "Brett Favre signs with the Vikings.", August 19, 2009. Retrieved September 29, 2013.
  15. Werder, Ed "Source: Vikings owner irate.", November 5, 2010. Retrieved September 30, 2013.
  16. Seifert, Kevin. "Free Head Exam: Brad Childress.", November 2, 2010. Retrieved September 30, 2013.
  17. "Vikings fire Brad Childress, name Leslie Frazier coach.", November 22, 2010. Retrieved September 30, 2013.
  18. "Browns hire Childress as offensive coordinator" (in en). Retrieved September 5, 2018.
  19. Hanzus, Dan (January 21, 2016). "Chiefs name Brad Childress, Matt Nagy co-coordinators". National Football League. Retrieved February 21, 2019.
  20. Sessler, Marc "Chiefs to make Brad Childress offensive coordinator.", January 18, 2016. Retrieved March 28, 2016.
  21. Culpepper, JuliaKate E. (April 25, 2018). "Michael Vick will lead offense of new pro football league team in Atlanta". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved April 25, 2018.
  22. "Kevin Coyle replaces Brad Childress as coach of AAF's Atlanta Legends". ESPN. January 9, 2019. Retrieved January 9, 2019.
  23. Finley, Patrick (June 1, 2019). "Inside the mind of Brad Childress, the man other Bears coaches lean on for guidance". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved June 2, 2019.
  24. Mayer, Larry "Nagy finalizes Bears coaching staff", February 27, 2018. Retrieved February 27, 2018.
  25. 25.0 25.1 Kane, Colleen (May 1, 2019). "Brad Childress rejoins Bears coach Matt Nagy's staff as senior offensive assistant". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved May 1, 2019.
  26. "Brad Childress: Coaching Record." Retrieved September 30, 2013.