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Chiefs defensive back coach Emmitt Thomas to retire after 38 years of coaching

Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony
Posted at 7:57 PM, Feb 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-12 20:57:51-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — After 51 totals years with the NFL, both as a player and coach, Kansas City Chiefs defensive backs coach Emmitt Thomas plans to retire.

Thomas is a Pro Football Hall of Famer and spent 13 years as a player in the NFL and 38 as a coach. He's been with the Chiefs for 22 years in total.

“My journey started in Kansas City, and by the grace of God I am able to end my NFL career here as well. ... It has been a privilege to work alongside the great coaches that have come through this building. Having the opportunity to coach so many talented young men in my time as a coach has been one of my greatest gifts," Thomas said in a statement sent out by the Chiefs.

Thomas played cornerback for 13 seasons with Kansas City (1966-78) and finished his career with a franchise-record 58 interceptions. He was a member of both of Kansas City’s Super Bowl squads, registering four INTs during the club’s postseason run in 1969 that culminated with a win in Super Bowl IV.

He began his NFL coaching career as the wide receivers/tight ends coach with the St. Louis Cardinals (1981-85). Throughout his coaching career, he spent time with the Atlanta Falcons, Minnesota Vikings, Green Bay Packers, Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Redskins. His time with the Redskins earned him two Super Bowl rings.

Thomas returned to his football roots in Kansas City in 2010, joining the Chiefs as the defensive backs coach. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2008 and the Chiefs Hall of Fame in 1986.

“It was an honor to have Emmitt on our coaching staff,” Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid said in a statement. “Having a Pro Football Hall of Famer lead that room and share his experiences as a player and a coach has been incredible for our guys. Beyond football, he’s a tremendous person, and I’ve enjoyed working with him and getting to know him. I wish him the best in retirement.”