Frank Reich's journey from pastor to Indianapolis Colts head coach

It’s been a week to remember for Frank Reich.

Last week, he was the Philadelphia Eagles’ offensive coordinator helping the team to a 41-33 upset victory over the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII. Now, he has a new job title as the head coach of the Indianapolis Colts. It’s a homecoming for Reich, who is returning to the team that he got his first NFL coaching job with back in 2008.

Reich’s career in football began at Cedar Crest High School in Lebanon, Pa. From there he went to the University of Maryland from 1981-84 where he backed up Boomer Esiason until he earned the starting spot in 1984, his senior year.

But an injury suffered that final season in college really led him to begin searching for something deeper than just football.

“I separated my shoulder, and in many respects I felt like this was it, my whole life was going down the tubes,” Reich recalled to CBN. “It was through that injury that God rocked my world, and He really brought me to a place where I needed to fall on my knees before Him and confess that football was first in my life. The injury wasn’t so bad that I couldn’t play again. The problem was the guy that took my place played so well that when I got healthy again, they didn’t want to put me back in.”

Reich was able to recover from the injury and later that season, in a game against the Miami Hurricanes, he led the Terrapins back from a 31-0 deficit to win the game 42-40. At the time, it was the biggest comeback victory in college football history.

In 1985, Reich was a third-round pick by the Buffalo Bills, and as he entered the NFL, his faith in Christ followed. He quickly realized that he could be a professional quarterback at the highest level and still serve the Lord.

“It was just a life changing moment for me when I realized that I needed to make that the top priority in my life and to understand that I can still excel at football,” Reich said to Sports Spectrum. “I can still excel at whatever it was that I wanted to do. But also understand how it integrates to every point of your life.”

Reich would play in the NFL for 14 seasons. His biggest moment was engineering the greatest comeback in postseason history, as  the Bills rallied back from 32 points down to beat the Houston Oilers 41-38 in a 1992 AFC Wild Card Game.

After he finished playing football, he went to seminary school and in 2006, he became the president of the Reformed Theological Seminary and pastor of Covenant Presbyterian Church in Charlotte, N.C.

But his life wasn’t done with football just yet. In 2008, he took his first NFL coaching job with the Colts and in 2009, he became Peyton Manning’s quarterback coach. Reich would leave the Colts to take become the Arizona Cardinals wide receivers coach in 2012 and then to the San Diego Chargers from 2013-15. He would land with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2016 as the offensive coordinator, and would help lead Philly to their first Super Bowl championship.

Now back with the Colts, Reich brings with him 26 years of NFL experience and a firm foundation of faith in Christ.

“We are excited to have Frank Reich as our new head coach,” said Colts general manager Chris Ballard in a team statement. “Frank is a leader of men who will demand excellence from our players on and off the field. I look forward to working with Frank to deliver a championship-caliber team to the city of Indianapolis.”

Related Links:

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– Eagles head coach Doug Pederson gives glory to God, says his faith keeps him grounded
– Eagles QB Nick Foles wants to be a pastor whenever he’s done with football