Former K.C. Chiefs head coach Dick Vermeil is now closer than ever to being immortalized in Canton, Ohio at the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Vermeil was officially named as a finalist for induction after being voted upon and recommended as the Coaching Finalist for the Class of ’22 by the Coaches Committee who narrowed down its selection on Tuesday.
Vermeil was announced as a finalist for the HOF class of 2022 along with former Raiders receiving legend Cliff Branch, who was the official recommendation put forth as this year’s Senior Finalist.
The Coaches Committee consists of nine members of the group of overall electors for the Hall of Fame, which has a total of 49 voting members. Those nine voters sifted through seven former NFL head coaches—each of whom must have stopped coaching at least five seasons ago in order to qualify—and ultimately decided upon Vermeil.
Dick Vermeil has been named a Hall of Fame finalist by the Coaches Committee.
Being named as a finalist by one of these committees is different than the voting that NFL fans are used to hearing about. The modern-era voting happens in the fall and winter when a list of every eligible player is distilled down to 25 semi-finalists and then 15 finalists. Then before the Super Bowl, the Selection Committee will come up with a final class of 4 to 8 persons.
As for Vermeil and Branch, the Selection Committee will simply vote yes or no as to their induction when the time comes with the idea that only 8 persons maximum can enter the Hall in any given year. That could make it tough for both of them to get in or it might limit the modern-era candidates instead, depending on how strong the argument is for each entrant.
The good news for Vermeil is that the short history of the Coaches Committee, formed just two years ago, has never had a finalist rejected. Last year, Tom Flores was the official recommendation. Before that, Bill Cowher and Jimmy Johnson were the names put forth. All three were inducted.
Vermeil, who is now 84-years-old, won Super Bowl XXXIV as head coach of the St. Louis Rams and served as head coach of three different NFL franchises including the Philadelphia Eagles and Chiefs. Vermeil went 44-36 in five seasons with the Chiefs and won 120 games overall in his 15 NFL seasons. He also finished with a 6-5 postseason record.