It's been a long road back to the Super Bowl for Andy Reid.
The Kansas City Chiefs head coach is one of the winningest coaches in NFL history but was 1-5 in conference championship games before Patrick Mahomes led KC to the Super Bowl with a 35-24 win over the Tennessee Titans in the AFC Championship Game. Reid only has one other Super Bowl appearance, a loss to the New England Patriots as head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl XXXIX.
But long before he was calling plays for Mahomes or Donovan McNabb, Reid's coaching career truly began in the home of the team that awaits his Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV -- the 49ers.
After he spending time as a graduate assistant at BYU in 1982, Reid was hired by Vic Rowen to be part of a three-man coaching staff at San Francisco State University. Reid's job at SFSU not only was as a coach, but also to teach classes, sell hot dogs to fundraise for the football program and travel to games by bus, with some of the trips being 10 hours away. And he did it all for $22,000 a year, according to The Miami Herald.
Reid was part of the staff for the now-defunct program from 1983-1985 before moving onto Northern Arizona University as the offensive line coach.
The Chiefs coach is aware that his time spent in The City helped launch his coaching career and send him on a path that saw him coach at Missouri, the Green Bay Packers and the Eagles before landing in KC.
“It gives you that respect factor (for) where you are now. And you appreciate it. You don’t take it for granted,” Reid said in a 2016 interview with the Kansas City Star. “You feel very privileged to be in this position.”
Reid's rise through the coaching ranks can be tied to his time at San Francisco State. Rowen was a mentor to famed BYU head coach LaVell Edwards and he got Mike Holmgren hired onto the BYU staff while Reid was still a grad assistant for the Cougars. Holmgren later would pluck Reid from the staff at Missouri to be an offensive assistant with the Packers.
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Reid has come a long way from his time selling hot dogs and coaching in the Bay Area. Now, he has the Chiefs in their first Super Bowl in 50 years, something that might not have happened if it weren't for his time with the Gators.
Programming note: NBC Sports Bay Area feeds your hunger for 49ers Super Bowl coverage with special editions of “49ers Central” all week (5:30 p.m. Monday and Wednesday; 8:00 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday; 6:00 p.m. Friday).