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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Charles Goldman

Former Chiefs LB coach Matt House explains decision to return to college football

The Kansas City Chiefs lost a pair of defensive position coaches this offseason.

Instead of staying in Kansas City or pursuing another NFL job, former Chiefs LB coach Matt House joined the college football ranks. Speaking to the media in his introductory press conference on Wednesday, House explained why he decided to leave such a high-profile NFL job to return to college football.

“Several things. First of all, when you leave coordinating, you always have that hunger to get back and do it,” House told reporters. “I enjoy the part of the game, the scheme part, the building of a team, the building of a staff. I enjoy when you lock arms and get in a room together and you can put together a plan and I enjoy the development piece.

“It was fun for three years in Kansas City to go back and work with (Steve Spagnuolo) and learn from Coach (Andy) Reid. Obviously, you know, winning at a high level. At the end of the day, there was a hunger to come back and be a defensive coordinator. I miss the part of the relationships with the players. I had a great linebacker room in Kansas City, great guys. But one of the things that I did miss, I have four kids of my own and I missed the opportunity for my kids to get to know the people I was spending time with. Coming back to college affords you to do that.”

House had been a defensive coordinator at Pittsburgh, Florida International and Kentucky before he ended up joining the Chiefs as linebackers coach in 2019. His connection to Steve Spagnuolo stemmed from when he served as defensive quality control coach for the St. Louis Rams from 2009 to 2011. Now, returning to college football for the first time since 2018, House brings plenty of knowledge learned from winning at the highest level of the game.

“The No. 1 thing is — talent will only get you so far,” House said. “I mean, you look at, winning at that level, the locker room and the leaders within each position group. The standard and the consistency that it takes to win day in and day out. Those are the things, when you win at that level, that kind of come through. Everybody (in the NFL) has a certain level of talent. It’s the teams that bond together and play to a standard that win.”

As for choosing LSU, House had a lot of encouragement from within the Chiefs’ locker room. He spoke about the former LSU players that Kansas City has and how passionate they remain about their alma mater.

“I’m going to tell you what,” House began. “Of any place that I have been, (LSU has) the most passionate former players I have seen. Whether it was Clyde (Edwards-Helaire) or (Tyrann Mathieu), those guys love this university and love this state and want to do anything they can to help it be successful and that’s pretty neat. It’s neat to be a part of it.”

The Chiefs will miss House as he helped develop their young linebacker corps of Willie Gay Jr. and Nick Bolton over the past two seasons. It was clear, however, that his return to college football was the best step next step for him and his family. He’ll be replaced by former Chiefs defensive line coach Brendan Daly in 2022, who began working with the linebackers as the defensive run-game coordinator in 2021.

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