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Dick Vermeil Will Enter Hall of Fame as an Eagles Head Coach

The first coach to take the Eagles to a Super Bowl said Philadelphia is where he identifies with the community, though he won a Super Bowl with the Rams and also coached KC
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He won a Super Bowl with the Rams, but Dick Vermeil will go into the Hall of Fame as a Philadelphia Eagle, according to NBC10 sport anchor John Clark.

“I’m going in as an Eagle,” Vermeil told Clark. “Philadelphia is my home team. It’s where I live and deeply identify with the community.”

Vermeil said he had to pick a team that he would be associated with, and the Eagles were an easy choice.

He will be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Aug. 6 in Canton, Ohio, along with tackle Tony Boselli, wide receiver Cliff Branch, safety LeRoy Butler, official Art McNally, linebacker Sam Mills, defensive end/defensive tackle Richard Seymour, and defensive tackle/defensive end Bryant Young.

The two most recent former Eagles inducted into the Hall were Harold Carmichael in 2020 and Brian Dawkins in 2018.

There is plenty of debate as to which Eagles player should be next, especially about the potential candidacy of running back LeSean McCoy after he retired last fall.

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Vermeil has made his permanent home in the suburbs of Philadelphia for decades.

He arrived to coach the Eagles in 1976 and endeared himself to the fan base quickly, leading a franchise that was about as moribund as it gets to its first Super Bowl appearance.

The Eagles hadn’t had a winning season since 1966 when Vermeil was hired off the campus of UCLA, where he had been the head coach.

Philadelphia was an organization that had traded away most of its early draft picks in a series of failed moves and disastrous decisions.

They went five straight years without a first-round pick, after taking OL Jerry Sisemore third overall in 1973 to Jerry Robinson 21st overall in 1979. In that span, the highest pick they had wasn't until the third round, which was twice - 1974 (DE Mitch Sutton, 63rd overall) and 1978 (LB Reggie Wilkes, 66th overall).

Since the decade of the 1970s had begun, the Eagles had a record of 27-53-4.

It was more of the same for Vermeil in his first season, with the Eagles going 4-10, but it was the baseline for a steady climb up.

The Eagles went 5-9 in 1977 then posted a winning record in 1978 at 9-7, making the playoffs and losing a heartbreaker to the Falcons, 14-13, in the wildcard round.

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The best was yet to come. 

He went 11-5 the following season and, though the Eagles lost to the Doug Williams-led Tampa Bay Buccaneers 24-17 in the divisional round of the playoffs, Vermeil had them on an upward trajectory.

In 1980, they went 12-4 and made it to the Super Bowl, topping the hated Dallas Cowboys 20-7 in the NFC Championship Game.

It was the Eagles’ first Super Bowl appearance, but it ended in defeat, 27-10 to the Oakland Raiders, a team the Eagles had beaten during the regular season.

A 10-6 record followed the super season, but a fourth straight playoff trip ended early as well in a 27-21 defeat in the wild-card round against the New York Giants.

In 1982, the Eagles started 3-6 and Vermeil resigned, citing burnout as the reason.

For the next 15 years, he spent time working as a sports announcer.

Following the 1994 season, the Eagles fired Rich Kotite and owner Jeffrey Lurie inquired about bringing back Vermeil as a head coach. However, the Eagles and Vermeil could not come to a contractual agreement. 

The Eagles would eventually hire Ray Rhodes to be their head coach. Vermeil issued a statement saying, "I'm not going to beg Jeffrey Lurie to coach this football team."

In 1997, the then-St. Louis Rams hired him to be their head coach.

After a rocky start, Vermeil turned to Kurt Warner when Trent green got hurt at the start of the 1999 season. The Rams then went on to beat the Tennessee Titans 23-16 in Super Bowl XXXIV, giving Vermeil his one and only Super Bowl ring.

Again, he retired before the Kansas City Chiefs lured him back to the sideline for five seasons.

The coach finished with a 6-5 postseason record and a 120-109 regular-season mark.

It all began for Vermeil however, in Philadelphia with the Eagles, and that is how he will be enshrined in the Hall of Fame in August.

Ed Kracz is the publisher of SI.com’s Fan Nation Eagles Today and co-host of the Eagles Unfiltered Podcast. Check out the latest Eagles news at www.SI.com/NFL/Eagles or www.eaglesmaven.com and please follow him on Twitter: @kracze.