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Since the Super Bowl era began in 1966, there have been five runs by teams who won at least three championships in a five-season span. Those teams are the 1970s Pittsburgh Steelers (four from 1974 to 1979), the 1990s Dallas Cowboys (three from 1992-1995), the 2000s New England Patriots (three from 2001-2004), the 2010s New England Patriots (three from 2014-2018) and now the current Kansas City Chiefs (three from 2019-2023). 

The Chiefs joined the special club, thanks to their 25-22 overtime win in Super Bowl LVIII over the San Francisco 49ers

Three-time Super Bowl MVP quarterback Patrick Mahomes, future Hall of Fame tight end Travis Kelce and future Hall of Fame head coach Andy Reid are certainly front and center for this historic five-year run. However, the Chiefs didn't start making Super Bowl runs with those three until the 2019 season, when Reid hired Super Bowl champion defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo to fill the role with Kansas City. 

Spagnuolo, aka "Spags," brought a Super Bowl pedigree with him to upon his arrival. He masterminded one of the best Super Bowl defensive performances ever for his first Super Bowl ring. As the defensive coordinator for the New York Giants in 2007, he helped lead the G-Men into becoming the team that put an end to the New England Patriots' perfect season. Spagnuolo's defense limited a New England offensive outfit that ran through the AFC and into Super Bowl XLII averaging 36.8 points per game to only 14 points. That shutdown of Tom Brady, Randy Moss and Wes Welker was a critical component in ruining New England's 18-0 record and adjusted it to a final count of 18-1.

Following Sunday's triumph, Spagnuolo is now the only coach in NFL history to win four Super Bowls as a coordinator. That begs the question: Why didn't he get any interview requests for one of the league's eight head-coaching vacancies this most recent cycle? 

Former Chiefs wide receiver and current Miami Dolphins All-Pro Tyreek Hill also tweeted out this question on Monday following Kansas City's latest Super Bowl victory. 

Right now, the league appears too leery to grant him a second chance at the big chair after he went 10-38 as the head coach of the St. Louis Rams from 2009-2011. He returned to the rank of defensive coordinator after his firing. After seeing Hill's tweet, Kevin Demoff, the current Rams COO who joined the organization as the team's president shortly after Spagnuolo's hiring, quote-tweeted Hill's question on Tuesday to co-sign Hill's support of Spags.

"It is well past time to see Spags get another head coaching opportunity," Demoff posted. "The team & organization he inherited in STL was a mess, nobody could have had success. Yet he changed the culture/staff & players believed. An amazing human deserving of the real shot we couldn't give him."

Demoff then detailed a list of reasons to provide context for why Spagnuolo didn't work out as a head coach in St. Louis. 

  • 1) Hired in January 2009 and team was put up for sale in spring 2009
  • 2) Inherited team that went 3-13 in 2007 and 2-14 in 2008
  • 3) Inherited salary cap mess in final salary cap year of CBA with restrictive rules and aging roster
  • 4) We outperformed expectations in 2010 only to have a lockout in 2011 and have no offseason to build upon that success 
  • 5) Hired a terrific OC in Josh McDaniels in 2011 who didn't meet players or install offense until training camp. That hampered Sam Bradford tremendously  
  • 6) New ownership was approved in August 2010 in final weeks of preseason and then had lockout preventing improvements in 2011  
  • 7) Injuries plagued team in 2011 and 23 players from that team never played another down in NFL  

After his list, Demoff added "Maybe, just maybe he deserves a real shot."

Two of the best head coaches of the last 10-20 years also needed second chances to become championship NFL head coaches. Bill Belichick (36-44 in five seasons with the Cleveland Browns) and Pete Carroll (33-31 in four seasons with the New York Jets and New Patriots combined) struggled in their first runs at being an NFL head coach like Spagnuolo. 

Carroll's situation is a little more comparable to Spags'. He received his NFL second chance with the Seattle Seahawks in 2010 at the age of 59, and he became the best head coach in Seahawks history. He put together a record of 137-89-1 in his 14 seasons from 2010-2023, including back-to-back Super Bowl appearances in 2013 and 2014. The Seahawks pummeled 2013 NFL MVP Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos 43-8 to earn the team's only ring to finish the 2013 season. 

Spagnuolo being 64 years old might work against him for a second chance at being a head coach, but he certainly has the love and respect from his players like a beloved head coach would. Chiefs safety Justin Reid gave away shirts to the rest of Spagnuolo's defense that read "In Spags We Trust" with the DC's face front and center. 

Perhaps Demoff's social media case for Spagnuolo will make a difference. He made a similar effort to get Raheem Morris, the Rams' defensive coordinator from 2021-2023, hired as a head coach again after he got one shot as a head coach from 2009-2011 with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where he went 17-31. 

Demoff got his wish with Morris this hiring cycle as the Atlanta Falcons hired him away to be their new head coach. Morris' 12-year gap between full-time head-coaching jobs is tied for the second longest in the Super Bowl era, trailing only Dick Vermeil's 14-year coaching hiatus following a seven-year run as the Philadelphia Eagles head coach from 1976-1982. 

Vermeil's second act as an NFL head coach concluded with a Super Bowl title in the 1999 season, providing hope that there's a shot for both Morris and potentially Spagnuolo to reach Super Bowl glory after a significant gap between head-coaching chances.