American Football Database
Frank Reich
Indianapolis Colts
Position:Head coach
Personal information
Born: (1961-12-04) December 4, 1961 (age 60)
Freeport, New York
Height:6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Weight:210 lb (95 kg)
Career information
High school:Lebanon (PA) Cedar Crest
NFL Draft:1985 / Round: 3 / Pick: 57
Career history
As player:
* Buffalo Bills ( 1985 1994)
As coach:
* Indianapolis Colts (2008)
Offensive coaching staff assistant
  • Indianapolis Colts (2009–2010)
    Quarterbacks coach
  • Indianapolis Colts (2011)
    Wide receivers coach
  • Arizona Cardinals (2012)
    Wide receivers coach
  • San Diego Chargers (2013)
    Quarterbacks coach
  • San Diego Chargers (2014–2015)
    Offensive coordinator
  • Philadelphia Eagles (2016–2017)
    Offensive coordinator
  • Indianapolis Colts (2018–present)
    Head coach
  • Career highlights and awards
    As coach:
    Career NFL statistics
    Passing yards:6,075
    Passer rating:72.9
    Player stats at
    Head coaching record
    Regular season:.625
    Coaching stats at PFR

    Frank Michael Reich Jr. (rye-k) (born December 4, 1961) is an American football coach and former player who is the head coach of the Indianapolis Colts of the National Football League (NFL). Reich played college football at the University of Maryland and was chosen by the Buffalo Bills in the third round of the 1985 NFL draft; he also played for the Carolina Panthers, New York Jets and Detroit Lions. Reich and Bills starting quarterback Jim Kelly formed one of the longest-tenured backup-and-starter tandems, playing together for nine seasons from 1986 to 1994. For a time, Reich had the distinction of having led his team to the biggest comeback victory ever in both the college and NFL ranks, including a 32-point comeback for the Bills in 1993. Starting as an intern with the Colts in 2006, Reich has also coached with the Arizona Cardinals and San Diego Chargers. As the offensive coordinator of the Philadelphia Eagles in 2017, Reich won Super Bowl LII over the New England Patriots.

    Playing career

    High school years

    Reich attended Cedar Crest High School in Lebanon, Pennsylvania where he played baseball, football, and basketball. Reich started on the football team for his last two years in high school. He played quarterback in the Big 33 Football Classic in 1980 following his senior year of high school. [1]

    College career

    Reich was accepted to the University of Maryland on an athletic scholarship, and played for the Maryland Terrapins football team as backup to starter Boomer Esiason for three years.[2]

    The biggest highlight of Reich's college career was the comeback he led against the Miami Hurricanes on November 10, 1984 at the Orange Bowl Stadium. Reich came off the bench to play for Stan Gelbaugh, who had previously replaced him as the starter after Reich separated his shoulder in the fourth week of the season against Wake Forest. Quarterback Bernie Kosar had led Miami to a 31–0 halftime lead. At the start of the third quarter, Reich led the Terrapins on multiple scoring drives. Three touchdowns in the third quarter and a fourth at the start of the final quarter turned what was a blowout into a close game. With Miami leading 34–28, Reich hit Greg Hill with a 68-yard touchdown pass, which deflected off the hands of Miami safety Darrell Fullington, to take the lead. Maryland scored once more to cap a 42–9 second half, and won 42–40, completing what was then the biggest comeback in NCAA history.[3]

    National Football League

    Reich was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the third round (57th overall) in the 1985 NFL Draft. The Bills already had drafted future Hall of Famer Jim Kelly in 1983 and when Kelly signed with the Bills in 1986, Reich was relegated to the backup role.

    Reich got his first start when Kelly went down with a shoulder injury in 1989. Reich led the Bills to two straight victories. He rallied the Bills in the fourth quarter by throwing two drives down the field for a 23–20 victory over the previously unbeaten Los Angeles Rams.[4] This first game for Reich occurred in front of a Rich Stadium crowd of 76,231 and a Monday Night Football audience.

    Reich returned the following year, however, when Kelly was injured again late in the 1990 season. Reich provided the Bills with two key wins, clinching them the AFC East title and home field advantage throughout the playoffs.

    During the final game of the 1992 regular season, the Houston Oilers defeated Buffalo 27–3 in Houston, where Kelly suffered strained ligaments in his knee and yielded to Reich to finish the game in his place. With Kelly out, Reich took the reins as the starter for the wild card game the following week, on January 3, 1993. The wild card game was a rematch with the Oilers, hosted in Buffalo, where they led the Bills 35–3 early in the 3rd quarter, but Reich then led the Bills on a 38–3 run en route to a 41–38 overtime victory. The rally from a 32-point deficit[5] was the largest comeback in NFL history. Reich started his second consecutive playoff game, as the Bills defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers 24–3 in the divisional round. This made Reich one of a handful of quarterbacks who is undefeated as a starter in post-season play, as well as the only one with more than one start to his credit. Kelly recovered and started the AFC Championship where the Bills defeated the Miami Dolphins 29–10. During Super Bowl XXVII, the Bills faced the Dallas Cowboys and Reich again replaced an injured Kelly in the first half of the Super Bowl. Reich led the Bills to 10 points to make the score 31–17, with a possible comeback well within the Bills' capability as the 3rd quarter concluded. However, in the 4th quarter, the Cowboys scored 21 unanswered points to win 52–17, and Reich finished the game with two interceptions.

    After giving the Bills one more comeback victory late in the 1993 NFL season, Reich signed with the expansion Carolina Panthers in March 1995 to start off their first year.[6] He threw the first touchdown pass in franchise history to former Bills player Pete Metzelaars in Memorial Stadium in Clemson, as Bank of America Stadium was still under construction. The Panthers had drafted Kerry Collins as their intended franchise quarterback, but Reich was the starter for the first three games until Collins was deemed ready to take the starting job. He was sacked 9 times on Sep 3 at Atlanta, a franchise record he shares with Cam Newton. Coincidentally, Reich and Collins hail from rival high schools in Lebanon, Pennsylvania, with Collins having started his high school career at Cedar Crest's crosstown rival, Lebanon High School (although due to age differences, Reich did not play against Collins in high school).

    Reich was then signed by the New York Jets where he started for seven games in 1996.

    In 1997, Reich signed with the Detroit Lions, reuniting him with his coach at Maryland, Bobby Ross. Reich appeared in 6 games in 1997, all in relief, and 6 games in 1998, including 2 starts. Reich retired following the 1998 NFL season.

    In 2014, NFL Hall of Fame Executive Bill Polian, who was general manager of the Bills when they drafted Reich, called him "the greatest backup quarterback in NFL history."[7]

    Coaching career

    Indianapolis Colts

    Reich was a coaching intern for the Indianapolis Colts from 2006 to 2007.[8][9] In 2008, he served as an offensive coaching staff assistant for the Colts.[10] After Tony Dungy retired following the 2008 season, former Colts quarterback coach Jim Caldwell took over as head coach and Reich became the new quarterbacks coach.[11] Reich switched to wide receivers coach[12] in 2011 but was dismissed when the entire coaching staff was released after a 2-14 season.

    Arizona Cardinals

    He was then the wide receivers coach for the Arizona Cardinals in 2012 under head coach Ken Whisenhunt,[13] but Reich, Whisenhunt and other offensive coaches were dismissed on December 31, 2012.

    San Diego Chargers

    He was hired by the San Diego Chargers along with Whisenhunt in 2013. When Whisenhunt left to become head coach of the Tennessee Titans, Reich was promoted to offensive coordinator. On January 4, 2016, he was fired from his position as offensive coordinator after the Chargers finished 31st in rushing and struggled on offense.

    Philadelphia Eagles

    On January 20, 2016, Reich was hired as the offensive coordinator for the Philadelphia Eagles, and would win Super Bowl LII with the team after the 2017 regular season.[14][15]

    Return to Indianapolis

    On February 11, 2018, he was named the new head coach of the Colts, seven years after he had been fired as wide receivers coach.[16][17][18]

    After losing his first career game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Reich earned his first win as a head coach over the Washington Redskins.[19] In Week 3 against his former team the Eagles, with the Colts down 20–16 with seconds left in the game, Reich pulled starting quarterback Andrew Luck and put in Jacoby Brissett to attempt a Hail Mary pass from his own 46-yard line. Brissett overthrew several players in the back of the end zone and the Colts lost the game. The move was questioned by some journalists and fans, and led to some speculation about the health of Luck's shoulder, although Reich and Luck both said it was purely because Brissett had a stronger throwing arm.[20] The following week against the Houston Texans, Luck led the Colts back from down 28–10 in the third quarter, including a game-tying two point conversion with :51 left, however the team lost in overtime, 37–34. Reich was the center of controversy after Indianapolis failed to convert a 4th and 4 on their own 43 and the Texans kicked the game-winning field goal, although he afterword said "I'll just address it now. We're not playing to tie. We're going for it 10 times out of 10."[21] After a 1-5 start to the season, Reich led the Colts to a 10-6 record, winning nine of their final 10 games.

    Indianapolis became just the third team in NFL history to make the playoffs following a 1-5 start, and also reached their first postseason appearance since 2014. In the Wild Card playoff game they defeated the Houston Texans 21-7 before falling to the Kansas City Chiefs 31-13 in the divisional round.[22]

    Head coaching record

    Team Year Regular season Postseason
    Won Lost Ties Win % Finish Won Lost Win % Result
    IND 2018 10 6 0 .625 2nd in AFC South 1 1 .500 Lost to Kansas City Chiefs in AFC Divisional Game.
    Total 10 6 0 .625 1 1 .500

    Coaching tree

    NFL head coaches under whom Frank Reich has served:

    Personal life

    Reich's German American father, Frank, played for Penn State from 1953 to 1955 as a center and linebacker.[23] He was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in the 14th round of the 1956 NFL Draft, but did not play in the National Football League. Frank Reich Sr. was a Technology Education Teacher and football coach at Lebanon High School and retired in 1992.

    Throughout Reich's NFL career, he remained a devout Christian. He is a motivational speaker utilizing the great comebacks and the importance of God as a main keynote of his speeches. He credits the song "In Christ Alone" by Michael English as his inspiration. He belongs to the Premier Speakers Bureau where his main topics are communication and teamwork. Reich attended the Charlotte Campus of Reformed Theological Seminary, Charlotte, North Carolina,[24] where he earned a Master of Divinity degree. He served as president of RTS' Charlotte campus from 2003 to 2006.[25] Reich was also a pastor at Ballantyne Presbyterian until he moved to Indianapolis.[26]


    1. "Super Bowl Tradition". Retrieved 5 January 2019.
    2. Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra. "From Seminary President to NFL Head Coach". Retrieved 5 January 2019.
    3. This comeback from 31 points down has since been exceeded by the Michigan State Spartans' 41–38 comeback win in 2006 over the Northwestern Wildcats during which Michigan State trailed 38–3 in the third quarter.
    4. "Los Angeles Rams at Buffalo Bills - October 16th, 1989". Retrieved 5 January 2019.
    5. "Bills and Eagles Turn Mountains Into Molehill; Buffalo Erases 32-Point Deficit". New York Times. January 4, 1993. Retrieved July 12, 2016.
    6. "Reich Leaves Bills' Bench For Panthers". Chicago Tribune. March 28, 1995. Retrieved February 11, 2018.
    7. "Caught in the Draft: 1985", NFL Network, 2014
    8. "Frank Reich". Retrieved March 14, 2018.
    9. Walker, Andrew (February 11, 2018). "Peyton Manning On Frank Reich: 'Tireless Worker,' 'Grinder'". Retrieved March 14, 2018.
    10. "Coaches". Retrieved March 14, 2018.
    11. "Coaches Roster". 2009. February 12, 2009.
    12. "Coach".
    13. " - Coaches". Retrieved February 12, 2018.
    14. "Frank Reich joins Eagles as offensive coordinator". Retrieved February 12, 2018.
    15. "Eagles dethrone Tom Brady, Patriots for first Super Bowl title in stunner" (in en).
    16. "Press Release: Indianapolis Colts Name Frank Reich Team's New Head Coach" (Press release). Indianapolis Colts. February 11, 2018. Retrieved February 12, 2018.
    17. Knoblauch, Austin (February 11, 2018). "Indianapolis Colts hire Frank Reich to be next coach". National Football League. Retrieved February 12, 2018.
    18. Wells, Mike (February 11, 2018). "Eagles OC Frank Reich named new Colts coach". ESPN. Retrieved February 11, 2018.
    19. "Doyel: A star is born in Colts linebacker Darius Leonard". September 16, 2018. Retrieved September 17, 2018.
    20. "Still not 100 percent? Colts pull Andrew Luck off field for Hail Mary".
    21. "The Colts' way-too-aggressive fourth-down call handed the Texans a win in OT".
    23. Tuscano, John (August 1, 2009). "Tezak family's athletic accomplishments span many generations, sports". The Patriot-News. Retrieved August 21, 2011.
    24. Aaron Little and Andrew Knox. "Frank About His Faith". Retrieved June 29, 2011.
    25. Erica Parkerson (July 22, 2003). "In Christ Alone". The Charlotte World. Retrieved June 29, 2011.
    26. "RTS-Charlotte President Frank Reich Accepts Call". RTS Enews. March 21, 2007. Archived from the original on September 28, 2011. Retrieved June 29, 2011.

    External links