Bears hire Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus as new head coach

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(670 The Score) Bears general manager Ryan Poles has made his first big decision in his new job. Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus has been hired as the team's new head coach, the Bears officially announced Thursday evening.

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Eberflus, 51, held his second interview with the Bears on Wednesday, this time an in-person meeting at Halas Hall with Poles, who was hired Tuesday. Eberflus was considered one of three finalists for the job along with former Colts and Lions coach Jim Caldwell and Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn. Eberflus will be the 17th head coach in Bears history.

“I couldn’t be more excited to have Matt become the next head coach of the Chicago Bears,” Poles said in a statement. “His experience, passion, character and attention to detail made him the right man for both the job and the culture we intend to establish here at Halas Hall. Throughout the search, Matt impressed me when detailing his vision and plan for our team. We look forward to getting to work and assembling a top-notch staff and roster that will help us consistently compete for championships.”

Eberflus has served as the Colts’ defensive coordinator since 2018, when he arrived alongside coach Frank Reich. Indianapolis ranked ninth in scoring defense and 16th in total defense in the 2021 season. The Colts ranked 10th in scoring defense and eighth in total defense in 2020.

A Toledo native, Eberflus broke into the NFL with the Browns in 2009 and worked in Cleveland for two seasons. He became the Cowboys’ linebackers coach in 2011 and spent seven years in Dallas before joining Indianapolis.

The Bears held their first interview with Eberflus on Jan. 17, a virtual meeting with Chicago’s five-person search team. Before Poles' hiring, Eberflus was asked by the Bears' search team to conduct a second interview. Poles then led the process to hire him.

“I would like to thank Ryan and the McCaskey family for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to lead the Chicago Bears, one of the most storied franchises in all of sports in one of the greatest cities in the world,” Eberflus said. “I am truly humbled and honored to be named your head coach and together we will do everything in our power to bring a Super Bowl championship back to Chicago.”

Eberflus replaces former Bears coach Matt Nagy, who was fired on Jan. 10 after going 34-31 over four seasons in Chicago and 0-2 in the playoffs.

The Bears interviewed 10 candidates for coach: Eberflus, Caldwell, Quinn, Buccaneers defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier, Buccaneers offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich, Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett, former Dolphins coach Brian Flores and former Eagles coach Doug Pederson.

Eberflus is expected to be introduced at Halas Hall alongside Poles in the coming days.

Chris Emma covers the Bears, Chicago’s sports scene and more for 670TheScore.com. Follow him on Twitter @CEmma670.