Our 2018 Gala will be held on January 11th at Cescaphe ballroom with keynote speaker Dick Vermeil.
Dick Vermeil is a legendary former NFL coach for the Philadelphia Eagles (1976–1982), St. Louis Rams (1997–1999) and Kansas City Chiefs (2001–2005). He coached the Rams to their only NFL title in St. Louis over the Tennessee Titans. He is loved by fans for his humanizing displays of emotion during and after games. He is infamous in Philadelphia for holding an open tryout for fans in 1976 and selecting Vince Papale who became a special teams standout and the focus of the 2006 film, Invincible.
Vermeil’s lengthy and illustrious career has many highlights. After coaching at the high-school level, he secured his first NCAA Division 1 position in 1965 at Stanford University. In 1974, he was named head coach at UCLA, leading the Bruins to a Rose Bowl Championship. Soon thereafter in 1976, he joined the downtrodden Philadelphia Eagles, discovering an unlikely football star in walk-on legend Vince Papale and guiding the team to multiple playoffs and a 1980 NFC Championship.
In 1983, after his first retirement from coaching, Vermeil took to a different kind of sideline—the broadcasting booth, serving as an NFL and college football analyst for CBS and ABC. After a 14-year NFL coaching hiatus, he returned in 1997 to coach the St. Louis Rams, leading to the franchise’s first Super Bowl victory in 1999. Later he was named the head coach for the Kansas City Chiefs.
Since his “retirement” from the Chiefs, Vermeil has acted as the color commentator for ESPN and the NFL Network. Over the years, he and his wife have been actively involved in numerous charitable efforts, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for organizations that help families and youth, as well as disadvantaged and differently-abled people.