Mike Vrabel’s short tenure with the Kansas City Chiefs is set to end Monday when the free agent LB will officially end his NFL career and join the staff of Luke Fickell, his former roommate, at Ohio State according to the Columbus Dispatch.
He could not be reached for comment yesterday, and Fickell, athletic director Gene Smith and athletic department spokesmen declined to comment. But the school tentatively has set a news conference for Monday to announce the hire. Vrabel could step in as linebackers coach, which was Fickell’s specialty.
In 1996, Vrabel became the first player to be named Big Ten defensive lineman of the year two seasons in a row, starring on a front that included Fickell in his fourth year as a starter at nose guard. A two-time All-American, Vrabel set school records for sacks in season (13) and in a career (36) along with career tackles for loss (66).
Working for his friend or not, it’s impressive for any current NFL player to jump right into a prominent coaching position at one of the biggest football programs in the country.
Losing one of their biggest team leaders will hurt the Chiefs next season, but it’s a great move for Vrabel. No need to work his way up the coaching ladder before finding his way to a marquee position. Knowing Vrabel, it won’t be long before we’re talking about him accepting a team’s head job.