Kansas City Chiefs legend Emmitt Thomas will retire from coaching, the team announced on Tuesday afternoon via its official Twitter account. Thomas served as the Chiefs’ defensive backs coach from 2010 to 2018 and coached in the NFL for a total of 38 years.
Defensive backs coach Emmitt Thomas to retire after coaching 38 NFL seasons.— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) February 12, 2019
Thomas’ coaching career came after playing 13 seasons with the Chiefs, one in which he was a four-time All-Pro and Super Bowl IV champion. Thomas is already a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame and his No. 18 is retired by the Chiefs.
The team’s announcement included statements from team owner Clark Hunt, head coach Andy Reid and Thomas himself.
“On behalf of my family and the entire Chiefs organization, I want to congratulate Emmitt on his remarkable 51 years in the National Football League. Over the course of a career that spans two leagues and most of the modern era of the NFL, Emmitt was a Hall of Fame player and one of the most respected coaches in the league. Emmitt will always be a part of our Chiefs family, and we wish him the best in retirement.”
“It was an honor to have Emmitt on our coaching staff. Having a Pro Football Hall of Famer lead that room and share his experiences as a player and a coach has been incredible for our guys. Beyond football, he’s a tremendous person, and I’ve enjoyed working with him and getting to know him. I wish him the best in retirement.”
“I have been blessed and honored to be a part of the NFL for the last 51 years. My journey started in Kansas City, and by the grace of God I am able to end my NFL career here as well. I would like to thank the Hunt family and the Chiefs organization for all that they have done for me in my special days here in Kansas City. It has been a privilege to work alongside the great coaches that have come through this building. Having the opportunity to coach so many talented young men in my time as a coach has been one of my greatest gifts. Additionally, I’d like to thank the Bidwill family and Coach Jim Hanifan for giving me my first NFL coaching job in St. Louis as well as Coach Walt Hicklin who introduced me to coaching at the University of Central Missouri back in 1979. I love Kansas City and this fan base and can’t thank them enough for all the support they have given me in my time here as a player and a coach.”
The Chiefs reportedly hired Dave Merritt as Thomas’ replacement back on February 7.
There has been no word yet on the future of Al Harris, who is still listed as the team’s secondary and cornerbacks coach on its coaches roster as of this writing.