Two-Time Super Bowl Champion Coach Announces Retirement From NFL

A two-time Super Bowl champion coach is calling it a career. This week, Atlanta Falcons defensive coordinator Dean Pees announced his retirement from the NFL after being with the team for the last two seasons. He made the decision after having multiple conversations with his wife. 

"Right now, my ego and my heart tell me to stay," Pees said, per the Falcons' official website. "But my mind and my body told me it's time." The 73-year-old went on to say he's had a cold for months and the lack of sleep was catching up to him. He also said he didn't want to be those coaches who stay one year too long since he's seen it with other coaches and players. 

 "I think I still maintained an okay attitude and worked hard developing the game plan, but the hours – when you get to a certain age, it's hard to put in 85 hours a week," Pees said. "This thing is trending in such a great direction that I don't want to be a deterrent if I start to fade. I've seen it enough times where folks say they'll go one more year and it doesn't work out well."

Pees could have stayed another season with the Falcons since he had one more year remaining on his contract. But this isn't the first time Pees retired since he's done it two times before this week's announcement. In January 2018, Pees retired as the defensive coordinator of the Baltimore Ravens. Later in the month, Pees agreed to be the defensive coordinator of the Tennessee Titans and was there for two seasons before retiring again in January 2020. 

"I owe it to my wife and my family to give them time," Pees said. "You never know, at this age, how much longer you have. It really weighed on me. My family has sacrificed so much. My wife has sacrificed so much for my career. I know she wants to travel. …I've also lost a couple of coaching friends this last year who retired. That bothered me a little bit. At what point in time do you not try to fulfill some things with your family. I have a bunch of grandsons who are all playing football and other sports. I want to watch them."

Pees has been a football coach since 1979. He coached in college for 25 years and joined the NFL in 2004 when he became the linebackers coach for the New England Patriots. He helped the team win the Super Bowl that year and remained with the team until 2010 when he joined the Ravens. As a linebackers coach, Pees helped the Ravens win the Super Bowl in 2011.