Colts Coach Frank Reich Talks Faith, Hoosier Roots & Grand Park Sports Campus
Writer / Josh Brown
Photography provided by Brian Brosmer & Indianapolis Colts
Frank Reich’s coaching career has truly come full circle, and he couldn’t be happier.
The new Head Coach of the Indianapolis Colts is right back where it all started for him. Reich began his career in 2006 with the Colts as an intern before working his way up to quarterbacks coach in 2009 alongside Colts legends Tony Dungy, Peyton Manning and Bill Polian.
Those relationships, coupled with a resume that now includes a Super Bowl ring as the Offensive Coordinator with the Philadelphia Eagles last year, have helped Reich land a job that he says is a dream come true.
In many ways, Reich is back home in Indianapolis.
“If I could have written up a plan of what would be the ideal scenario, the ideal team and place, this was it,” Reich says. “Indianapolis is where I got my coaching start. I came into the organization and got to work with guys like Peyton Manning, Tony Dungy, Jeff Saturday the list goes on, but these are great men. To get a chance to come back here now is pretty special.”
The Reichs have ties to the Indy community, which has certainly made the reunion feel like a homecoming of sorts for the family. Two of Reich’s three daughters graduated high school in the area when he first started with the Colts in 2006 — his middle daughter from Hamilton Southeastern and his youngest daughter from Heritage Christian.
“The Hoosier hospitality has been unbelievable,” Reich says. “This is like home to us. We have family in this area and developed close friendships from my first time here. I’m thankful for the opportunity to be back.”
While Reich wasn’t the first choice for the position, the Colts quickly realized he was the best fit. After the fallout with Josh McDaniels, several reports said Polian, Dungy and Manning personally reached out to Colts Owner Jim Irsay and General Manager Chris Ballard to endorse Reich for the head coaching position.
Reich watched from afar and, despite his interest, did not make the first move in having his agent reach out to the Colts. Instead, he decided if it was meant to be that it would be.
Looking back now, Reich says the endorsement of those Colts legends is humbling.
“It really is humbling because those are some tremendous men, coaches and players,” Reich says. “In this business you just try to work hard and do your job. You work around a lot of great people and learn a lot from them. When people like that give you a vote of confidence, it means a lot.”
Faith & Football
Reich has something on his resume that not too many NFL coaches have. After being drafted in 1985 by the Buffalo Bills and playing in the NFL for nine seasons, Reich took a break from football but knew he would want to return to coach one day.
Before the desire to coach in 2006, Reich actually felt called to ministry and went to seminary. He even served as pastor of a Presbyterian Church in Charlotte, North Carolina — living out his faith and serving the community.
Reich isn’t shy about his faith, either. He says it has played a vital role in his life and shaping him as a leader and a man.
“I wouldn’t change one day of being in ministry,” Reich says. “It has really shaped and formed me as a person. Going into ministry was something I really felt called to do. I didn’t know where it was going to take me, but I knew that I loved coaching people and encouraging people. I learned about myself as a teacher during that time. To continue to develop those gifts and take them back into coaching in the NFL has been a lot of fun.”
Working Out In Westfield
As the Colts gear up for their first season under Reich, they’ve found a new home for the summer — Grand Park in Westfield. The huge, 400-acre sports complex will host the team from the end of July through August for training camp.
It is the first summer the Colts will work out at the facility in a deal the team announced back in September that will span 10 years. The Colts will host an open camp and provide opportunities for fans to connect with the team and the players throughout the summer.
One of Reich’s first tasks after taking over as head coach was to visit Grand Park, and he has been nothing less than impressed by the facility.
“The people here, the staff has been so accommodating,” Reich says. “When you are going to host an NFL team for training camp, that is a pretty big deal. This place is so incredible that it can handle it, but it isn’t just about the facility. It is about the people. We’ve found that the people here are top notch and helping us do something that is exciting for our team and the City of Westfield.
“I remember the first time driving up,” Reich adds. “They told me a little about it, but as we are driving up you see all of these fields. Then you walk inside and there are three, full-size soccer fields. I’ve never seen a facility like it.”
Getting Back on Track
With the season right around the corner, Reich’s focus is to get the Colts back on track. He is well aware of the fanbase and the team’s expectations.
Luck or no Luck, Reich’s goals remain the same — playing hard and being in a position to get back to the playoffs. The Colts have built the team and the draft that they wanted, and despite Andrew Luck’s status for the season, Reich is confident that the team can perform at a high level.
“It’s all about the people and the process,” Reich says. “We just have to build the team one player at a time and have the commitment and the work ethic. When that happens, it doesn’t take long. You can flip your record in a hurry in the NFL. I was just a part of it with Philadelphia. But we all have to do it together, and it really has to be an organizational thing. The players and the coaches have to be tight, and there has to be a trust in one another and a willingness to commit to fighting for it every day no matter what.”