With coaching staff changes in full force in the NFL, a change is coming for an LDS coach.
The Seattle Seahawks announced Wednesday afternoon that Darrell Bevell, who has served as the Seattle Seahawks’ offensive coordinator since 2011, has been fired along with offensive line coach Tom Cable. Several news outlets reported the news earlier in the day.
Bevell helped the Seahawks win Super Bowl XLVIII and the team reached the NFL’s championship game the next season.
"I would like to thank the entire Seahawks organization for seven great seasons," Bevell said in a team statement. "I can't thank Mr. Allen, Pete Carroll, John Schneider, our coaching staff and players enough for the support and hard work they put in to help build the championship success of this team."
During his Seattle tenure, Bevell worked with quarterback Russell Wilson and helped turn Wilson into one of the league’s top passing and rushing threats at the position. Bevell also coached running back Marshawn Lynch, who was one of the league's top rushers during his time in Seattle and helped the Seahawks become one of the NFL's top rushing teams.
The crowning achievement for Bevell with the Seahawks came when Seattle beat Denver 43-8 in Super Bowl XLVIII. The Seahawks averaged 6.2 yards per play on offense in winning the Lombardi Trophy.
This year, though, the Seahawks struggled to maintain a staple of Bevell's offense during his time in Seattle: running the ball. Behind a porous offensive line, the Seahawks finished 23rd in the league in rushing (101.8 yards per game) and 15th in total offense (330.4 yards per game).
In December 2015 there was buzz surrounding Bevell as a potential candidate for the BYU head coaching position, which opened after Bronco Mendenhall left to take the head coaching job at Virginia. It is a requirement for the BYU head coach to be a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
At that time, with the 2015 NFL season still going on and Seattle having made the Super Bowl the previous two years, Bevell said he was invested in his future with the Seahawks while also indicating he desired to be a head coach someday. Seahawks coach Pete Carroll also said "the timing isn't going to fit" for Bevell to be a serious candidate for the BYU position.
"We're doing things that have really been unprecedented, with obviously going to two Super Bowls. We're going to make a push to continue to do that, and I want to be a part of it," Bevell said in a video posted by the Tacoma News Tribune.
BYU, which went 4-9 in 2017, is again going through changes on its offensive staff this offseason, though only one spot remains to be filled and a move for Bevell to Provo so quick seems highly unlikely.
Ty Detmer was relieved of his offensive coordinator duties the Monday following the regular-season finale, and LSU offensive line coach/run game coordinator Jeff Grimes was announced as his successor as BYU's offensive coordinator.
The Cougar program then announced a trio of additions to the offensive staff — Aaron Roderick, Fesi Sitake and Ryan Pugh — while saying Steve Clark, who has coached tight ends the past two years, would be retained. BYU also said a 10th coach would be added to the Cougar staff in January.
Bevell's only current tie to BYU is that his daughter, Morgan, is a freshman softball player at the school.
Bevell grew up in Scottsdale, Arizona, where he was a quarterback at Chapparel High, and served a two-year LDS Church mission in Cleveland, Ohio. He played collegiately at Wisconsin after redshirting his freshman year at Northern Arizona prior to the mission.
Before joining the Seahawks staff, Bevell was the offensive coordinator for the Minnesota Vikings from 2006-10. He was also an assistant coach with the Green Bay Packers from 2000-05 and was an assistant in college at UConn, Iowa State and Westmar University.
His faith has helped shape his career while impacting others' lives.
“It’s important to me in how I interact with people, how I interact with the players. My faith helps me do that," Bevell told the Deseret News in the week leading up to Super Bowl XLIX, which the Seahawks lost to the New England Patriots 28-24.
Speculation has already begun about potential replacements for Bevell with the Seahawks. An early name that emerged in those rumors was Steve Sarkisian, the former BYU quarterback who is in his first season as offensive coordinator with the Atlanta Falcons. Sarkisian worked as an assistant under Carroll at USC in the mid-2000s.
On Wednesday, though, Falcons head coach Dan Quinn squelched any talk of Sarkisian moving to Seattle as Atlanta prepares to face the NFC top-seeded Philadelphia Eagles in this weekend's NFL divisional playoff round.
“Zero chance of that,” Quinn told reporters, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, when asked about the rumors. “I recognize you asking, but for us, there is no basis to any of this.”
The Seattle Times pointed to another name familiar in Utah circles who could be a replacement for Bevell: former University of Utah quarterback Mike McCoy. McCoy was fired as the Denver Broncos' offensive coordinator in November, his second stint as the Broncos' OC. He previously was the San Diego Chargers head coach form 2013-16.
"McCoy, (who) rose to prominence as the offensive coordinator of the Broncos from 2009-12, is highly-regarded for the job he did working with the diverse skill-sets of the likes of Kyle Orton, Tim Tebow and Peyton Manning during his time in Denver as well as with Philip Rivers with San Diego," the Times' Bob Condotta wrote.