The Bears on Thursday named Matt Eberflus as their 17th head coach in franchise history.
Hired by new general manager Ryan Poles, Eberflus boasts 30 years of coaching experience, 13 in the NFL and 17 at the collegiate level. The 51-year-old spent the past four seasons as Colts defensive coordinator.
"I couldn't be more excited to have Matt become the next head coach of the Chicago Bears," Poles said. "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."
Under Eberflus, the Colts were the only NFL defensive unit to be ranked in the top-10 in scoring, run defense and takeaways each of the past two seasons. The Colts finished in the top 10 in the NFL in run defense and takeaways in all four of his years, top 10 in points allowed in three of the four, and were the least penalized defense in the league in 2019 and 2021.
"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."
Inheriting an Indianapolis defense that ranked 30th in the NFL in both scoring and total yards in 2017, Eberflus helped the unit improve to 10th in scoring and 11th in yards in his first year in 2018.
After finishing with a 4-12 record in 2017, the Colts rebounded to earn a wild-card berth with a 10-6 mark in 2018, beating the Texans in the first round of the playoffs before losing to the Chiefs in a divisional game.
In 2018, the Colts were one of only three teams to not allow a 100-yard rusher despite facing five of the top-10 rushers in the NFL. The Indianapolis defense forced at least one turnover in a league-high 15 games, including multiple turnovers in seven contests. The Colts defense also forced a turnover in each of its two postseason games.
In 2020, the Colts went 11-5 and reached the playoffs for the second time in three seasons. The defense ranked eighth in total yards—its first top-10 finish since 2007—and second against the run—its first top-5 finish since 1971.
In 2021, the Colts were second in the NFL with 33 takeaways, tying for first with 14 fumble recoveries and tying for third with 19 interceptions.
With a coaching background rooted in the linebacker position, Eberflus has helped develop Darius Leonard into one of the NFL's best linebackers.
Since being selected by the Colts in the second round of the 2018 draft, Leonard has been named first-team All-Pro three times in four seasons. He was chosen NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2018 after leading the league with 163 tackles. Leonard was voted to his third Pro Bowl in 2021 after topping the NFL with eight forced fumbles. In the process, he became the first player with at least eight forced fumbles and four interceptions in a season in league history.
Eberflus began his NFL career with the Browns as linebackers coach (2009-10). He then spent seven seasons with the Cowboys as linebackers coach (2011-17), while also serving as passing game coordinator in 2016-17.
Before entering the NFL, Eberflus was a college coach for 17 years. He started his career at Toledo, his alma mater, as a student assistant (1992), graduate assistant (1993), outside linebackers coach (1994-98) and defensive backs coach (1999-2000), also working as recruiting coordinator in 1994-95.
After leaving Toledo, Eberflus spent eight seasons as defensive coordinator at Missouri from 2001-08.
As a player, Eberflus was a four-year letterman and three-year starting linebacker at Toledo. He earned first-team All-MAC honors and led his team in tackles as both a junior and senior. Eberflus earned a degree in education in 1993 and was inducted into Toledo's Athletic Hall of Fame in 2004.
Eberflus and his wife, Kelly, have two daughters, Grace and Giada.