The Chicago Bears have released the following:

Chicago Bears General Manager Ryan Poles has announced the hiring of Matt Eberflus (EE-ber-floos) as the club’s 17th head coach in franchise history.

“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.”

Eberflus comes to Chicago with 30 years of coaching experience, including 13 in the NFL, and recently completed his fourth season as defensive coordinator for the Indianapolis Colts in 2021. Under Eberflus the Colts were the only NFL defensive unit to be ranked in the top-10 in scoring, run defense and takeaways in 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 scoring defense 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.”

Eberflus’ impact in Indianapolis was immediate. After inheriting a Colts defense that finished 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 the divisional round.

With a coaching background rooted in the linebacker position, Eberflus helped develop linebacker Darius Leonard into one of the most productive linebackers in the NFL. Since being selected by the Colts in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft, Leonard is a three-time Associated Press All-Pro and three-time Pro Bowler. His career totals include 538 tackles, 30 tackles for loss, 15.0 sacks, 11 interceptions, 30 passes defensed, 17 forced fumbles and seven fumble recoveries. Leonard went on to win 2018 AP Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2018 under Eberflus’ guidance.

In 2021, the Colts tied for first in the NFL in fumble recoveries (14) and tied for third in both interceptions (19) and opponent three-and-out percentage (.227). They also tied for fourth in red zone takeaways (4), ranked fifth overall in forced fumbles (17) and ninth in points allowed (21.5).

Two years ago in 2020, the Colts finished in the top-10 in numerous categories, including total defense (332.1 yards per game, eighth), rush defense (90.5 yards per game, second), interception rate (2.67, eighth), takeaways (25, tied-fifth), first downs allowed per game (20.6, eighth), goal-to-go percentage (70.00, tied-ninth), points per game allowed (22.6, tied-10th) and safeties (three, tied-first). It marked the first time since 1971 that the Colts finished in the top-five in run defense and the first time since 2007 that Indianapolis ranked in the top-10 in total defense.

In 2019, the Indianapolis defense was stout against the run and finished seventh in the league after allowing 97.9 yards per game. It marked the first time that the Colts, who ranked eighth in rush defense in 2018, finished the year ranked in the top-10 in run defense in back-to-back seasons since 1976-77. The Indianapolis defense also ranked in the top-10 in interceptions (15, seventh) and takeaways (23, tied-10th).

In 2018, Eberflus was part of a Colts team that finished with a 10-6 regular season record, won in the AFC Wild Card Round and had an appearance in the AFC Divisional Round. Indianapolis became the third team in NFL history to start a season 1-5 and make the playoffs. Additionally, the Colts were the second team in NFL history to start a season 1-5 and win a playoff game.

Inheriting a defensive roster infused with youth in 2018, Eberflus guided a Colts defense that finished 11th in the league in total defense. The unit also ranked eighth in rush defense, which was the team’s best mark since 1995 (sixth). Indianapolis finished 10th in the NFL in points allowed and registered the second-most tackles for loss in the league (91). 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-most 15 games, including multiple turnovers in seven games. They also forced a turnover in each postseason contest.

For his efforts, Eberflus finished third in the voting for the 2018 Associated Press NFL Assistant Coach of the Year.

Eberflus began his NFL career with the Browns as a linebackers coach (2009-10) before spending seven seasons with the Cowboys as linebackers coach (2011-17)—and adding passing game coordinator to his duties in 2016-17.

From 2016-17, the Cowboys boasted one of the league’s best rushing defenses, including No. 1 overall in 2016. In 2017, he guided a linebacker group that accounted for 34 percent of the tackles for the league’s No. 8 ranked defense (318.1 yards per game) and rushing defense (104.0 yards per game).

In 2011, Eberflus’ first season in Dallas, he inherited a group that was spearheaded by All-Pro DeMarcus Ware, who registered 19.5 sacks, good for second in the NFC and the NFL and tops amongst all linebackers in the league, en route to his sixth consecutive selection as a Pro Bowl starter.

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), defensive backs coach (1999-2000) and recruiting coordinator (1994-95).

After leaving Toledo, Eberflus spent eight seasons as defensive coordinator at Missouri from 2001-08, serving as the team’s associate head coach/defensive coordinator/safeties coach (2006-08) and defensive coordinator/defensive backs coach (2001-05). While with Missouri, Eberflus helped guide the Tigers to the Big 12 North Division title in 2007 and 2008, compiling a 22-6 record over that span.

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. As a senior he was voted team captain and was awarded the Nicholson Award as the team’s Most Valuable Player. 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.

Eberflus’ Coaching Career:

YearLocationPosition
1992ToledoStudent Assistant Coach
1993ToledoGraduate Assistant
1994-95ToledoRecruiting Coordinator/Outside Linebackers
1996-98ToledoOutside Linebackers
1999-2000ToledoDefensive Backs
2001-05MissouriDefensive Coordinator/Defensive Backs
2006-08MissouriAssociate Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator/Safeties
2009-10Cleveland BrownsLinebackers
2011-15Dallas CowboysLinebackers
2016-17Dallas CowboysLinebackers/Passing Game Coordinator
2018-21Indianapolis ColtsDefensive Coordinator
2022-PresentChicago BearsHead Coach