Kansas City Chiefs Team History
During the 1960s the Chiefs franchise was the only club to capture three American Football League (AFL) championships. Coached by Hank Stram, the team had one of the AFL’s most feared defenses. Quarterback Len Dawson, a five-time passing champion and future Hall of Fame member, led the offense.
During the early and mid-1990s head coach Marty Schottenheimer directed the Chiefs to six consecutive playoff appearances. His many stars included running back Marcus Allen, kicker Nick Lowery, and quarterback Joe Montana. The Dallas Texans became a charter member of the AFL in 1960, and Hank Stram, an assistant at the University of Miami, was hired as the team’s first head coach. Two years later Stram produced a powerful offense with quarterback Len Dawson, veteran running back Abner Hayes, and rookie running back Curtis McClinton. The three stars led the Texans to the AFL title in 1962. Dawson was named the player of the year, McClinton rookie of the year, and Stram coach of the year. Despite the team’s success in the AFL, the club suffered economically because of poor fan support, and in 1963 the franchise moved to Kansas City and was renamed the Chiefs. Kansas City won its second AFL title in 1966 behind wide receiver Otis Taylor; running back Mike Garrett, who was named the league’s top rookie; and kicker Mike Mercer, who made four field goals in the AFL Championship Game. In winning the AFL crown, the Chiefs earned the right to play the NFL-champion Green Bay Packers in the first Super Bowl. Kansas City lost the game 35-10.
Kansas City Chiefs Chronological History
The initial regular season victory in team history came by a 34-16 count at Oakland thanks to 88 rushing yards, a TD and two FGs from FB Jack Spikes.
The franchise moves to Kansas City
The Chiefs finished three games in front of Oakland to claim an AFL West title with an 11-2-1 record, setting the stage for the franchise’s second trip to the AFL Championship Game.
Using a dazzling I-formation offense and a smothering defense, the Chiefs claimed a dominating 31-7 victory in the AFL title game at Buffalo (1/1) on the same day that future Chiefs star Derrick Vincent Thomas was born in Miami, Florida. That victory propelled Kansas City to the first AFL-NFL World Championship Game, later renamed Super Bowl I.
In the final game in AFL history, the Chiefs became the league’s only three-time champions, defeating the Raiders by a 17-7 count at Oakland
The great promise of the ‘71 campaign ended dramatically in the longest game in NFL history, an AFC Divisional Playoff Game played on Christmas Day. It took 82:40, but a 37-yard FG from Dolphins K Garo Yepremian finally ended this epic as Miami claimed a 27-24 double OT win in the final football contest played at Municipal Stadium.
The Chiefs lost a 37-14 decision at Buffalo (1/5) in an AFC Divisional Playoff matchup as the Bills dynamic offense proved to be too much for the Chiefs.
Kansas City got its first true taste of "Montana Magic" as the Hall of Fame passer engineered a brilliant comeback in a 27-24 OT win in an AFC Wild Card thriller vs. Pittsburgh (1/8). Next up was a red-hot Oilers squad that had won 11 straight games to conclude the regular season. Heavily-favored Houston opened up a 13-7 lead in the fourth quarter, but once again, Montana had a comeback in mind, guiding the club to a 28-20 victory at Houston. The Chiefs playoff journey ended as the club made its initial AFC Championship Game appearance at Buffalo. Montana was knocked out of the contest early in the second half as Buffalo claimed its fourth straight AFC title by a score of 30-13.
Montana announced his retirement from football after 16 years in the NFL on April 18th
The Chiefs dropped an AFC Divisional Playoff Game vs. Indianapolis
The Chiefs led the NFL in scoring defense, allowing a mere 14.5 points per game. The 232 total points permitted by the Chiefs in ‘97 were the lowest tally ever allowed in a 16-game season in team history. Kansas City also broke a 63-year-old mark owned by the ‘34 Detroit Lions by not permitting a second-half TD in 10 consecutive games. Grbac returned for the regular season finale vs. New Orleans (12/21) as the squad finished the year with six consecutive victories, a first in team history.
Despite registering wins in three of the season’s final five games, the club finished the year at 7-9, snapping a string of nine consecutive winning seasons.
Coach Schottenheimer announced his resignation from the Chiefs following the 1998 season, and defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham took over coaching duties for the next two seasons, compiling a 16-16 record
Gannon had signed with the Oakland Raiders, Neil Smith signed with the Denver Broncos, and Derrick Thomas was paralyzed from a car accident on January 23, 2000. Thomas died from complications of his injury weeks later. After allegedly reading online that he would be relieved of duties, head coach Gunther Cunningham was fired
Dick Vermeil takes over head coaching duties from Gunther Cunningham
Kansas City began the season with nine consecutive victories, a franchise record. They finished the season with a 13-3 record and the team's offense led the NFL in several categories. Running back Priest Holmes surpassed Marshall Faulk's single-season touchdown record by scoring his 27th rushing touchdown against the Chicago Bears in the team's regular season finale.
Kansas City makes the 2004 NFL playoffs and hosted the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Divisional Playoffs. In a strange game where neither team punted, the Chiefs lost the shoot-out 38-31. It was the third time in nine seasons that the Chiefs went 8-0 at home in the regular season, and earned home field advantage throughout the playoffs, only to lose their post-season opener at Arrowhead.
Chiefs finished with a decent 10-6 record but failed to earn a playoff berth. The Chiefs were the fourth team since 1990 to miss the playoffs with a 10-6 record. Prior to the Chiefs' final game of the season, head coach Dick Vermeil announced his retirement.
Chiefs returned to their defensive roots with the selection of its next head coach, Herman Edwards. Herman was a former Chiefs scout and head coach of the New York Jets as the team's tenth head coach after trading a fourth-round selection in the 2006 NFL Draft to the Jets
Trent Green was traded to the Miami Dolphins. Tight end Tony Gonzalez broke Shannon Sharpe's NFL record for touchdowns at the position and defensive end Jared Allen led the NFL in quarterback sacks with 15.5
The Chiefs struggled off the field as much as on as tight end Tony Gonzalez demanded a trade and running back Larry Johnson was involved in legal trouble. 2008 season ended with a franchise worst 2-14 record, where the team suffered historic blowout defeats nearly week-in and week-out.
January 23, 2009 Herman Edwards was fired as head coach, and two weeks later Todd Haley signed a four-year contract to become Edwards' successor. Haley had a background with Pioli, which made him an attractive hire for Pioli's first coach in Kansas City. April 2009 Tony Gonzalez was finally traded to the Atlanta Falcons after failed trade attempts over the previous two seasons
The Chiefs made significant hires for their coaching staff, bringing on former Patriots assistant coaches Charlie Weis and Romeo Crennel to coach the offense and defense, respectively. The coaching additions proved to be very successful, as the Chiefs would go on to secure their first AFC West title since 2003. Their ten victories in the 2010 season combined for as many as the team had won in their previous three seasons combined.
On January 9, 2011, the Chiefs lost their home Wild Card playoff game to the Baltimore Ravens 30-7. Six players were chosen for the Pro Bowl: Dwayne Bowe, Jamaal Charles, Brian Waters, Tamba Hali, Matt Cassel and rookie safety Eric Berry. Jamaal Charles won the FEDEX ground player of the year award and Dwayne Bowe led the NFL in Touchdown Receptions.
The Chiefs became the first team since the 1929 Buffalo Bisons to not lead in regulation through any of their first nine games. The Chiefs tied their franchise worst record of 2-14 and clinched the No. 1 overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft. It was the first time in franchise history they held the first overall pick. On December 31, 2012, the Chiefs fired head coach Romeo Crennel and four days later, General Manager Scott Pioli joined him in the list of firings.
On January 4, 2013, the Chiefs hired former Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid. Eight days later, Green Bay Packers head scout John Dorsey was hired as general manager. On March 12, 2013, the Chiefs acquired quarterback Alex Smith from the San Francisco 49ers for the Chiefs' second-round pick, 34th overall, in the 2013 draft and a conditional pick in 2014 draft. Matt Cassel was released shortly after.
Kansas City Chiefs Franchise Information
- Franchise Granted: 1960
- First Season: 1960
- Franchise History:
- 1960 - 1962 Dalas Texans (AFL)
- 1963 - 1969 Kansas City Chiefs (AFL)
- 1970 - Present Kansas City Chiefs (NFL)
The AFL franchise began in 1960 as the Dallas Texans. When the team was moved to Kansas City in 1963, the new name was selected by a fan contest.
Kansas City Chiefs - Stadium
1 Arrowhead Drive
Kansas City, Mo. 64129
Opened Aug. 12, 1972
Cost: $375 Million
Phone (816) 920-9300
Kansas City Chiefs (NFL) (1972-present)
Kansas City Wizards (MLS) (1996-2007)
Cotton Bowl (1960-1962)
Municipal Stadium (1963-1971)
Arrowhead Stadium (1972-present)
Kansas City Chiefs
2006 - 2008
1999 - 2000
1989 - 1998
#3 Jan Stenerud
#16 Len Dawson
#18 Emmitt Thomas
#28 Abner Haynes
#33 Stone Johnson
#36 Mack Lee Hill
#58 Derrick Thomas
#63 Willie Lanier
#78 Bobby Bell
#86 Buck Buchanan
1962, 1966, 1969 (Superbowl IV)
1966 (AFL), 1969 (AFL)
1962 (AFL West), 1966 (AFL West), 1969 (AFL West), 1971 (AFC West), 1993 (AFC West), 1995 (AFC West), 1997 (AFC West), 2003 (AFC West), 2010 (AFC West)
Wild Card Wins
1991 (AFC West), 1993 (AFC West)
Years in Playoffs
1962, 1966, 1968, 1969, 1971, 1986, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1997, 2003, 2006, 2010, 2013
Hall of Fame Members
1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974
1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005
1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974
Junious "Buck" Buchanan
1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975
1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975
1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977
1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979
1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982
1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997