As of 670 The Score’s 20th Anniversary on January 3rd, the station has begun to reveal (in chronological order) the Top 100 Chicago Sports Stories that have occurred since they first went on the air 20 years ago. Once all 100 of these “flashbacks” have been revealed, fans will be able to vote for which stories they believe are the most significant in the 20 year history of The Score. To see all of the Flashbacks that The Score has posted so far, please visit 670 The Score’s 20th Anniversary page.
January 22, 1999 – Dave McGinnis ‘hiring’
This is one of those moments the Bears’ public relations staff would like to have back.
Following the 1998 season, which led to the firing of head coach Dave Wannastedt, the Bears were looking for a new head coach for the second time in 10 years.
As the search began, the list included offensive coordinators Sherm Lewis of Green Bay and Joe Pendry of Buffalo, and defensive coordinators Dave McGinnis of Arizona, Dick Jauron of Jacksonville, and Gunther Cunningham of Kansas City. The Bears also interviewed Pittsburgh defensive coordinator Jim Haslett, and were given permission to interview Vikings offensive coordinator Brian Billick and Jets defensive coordinator Bill Belichick.
Early in the search, it was widely speculated that McGinnis was the favorite, as he was the last to interview.
Shortly after McGinnis interviewed, he received a phone call from Bears president Michael McCaskey regarding contract terms. McGinnis said he needed some time and he would think about it.
The next morning, McCaskey inexplicably notified the Bear’s PR department to call a 1:00 press conference to announce the hiring of Dave McGinnis as the 11th head coach of the Chicago Bears. Wannstedt’s voicemail was even changed at Halas Hall to “Dave McGinnis, Head Coach.” The only problem with this scenario was that McGinnis had never officially accepted the position.
McGinnis was furious that the team would do this before he had agreed to the contract terms. The press conference was postponed all afternoon, and finally canceled at the end of the day.
Despite a pleas from the Bears’ organization, terms of the contract were never agreed to and McGinnis was never the head coach of the Bears.
The job ultimately went to Dick Juron, and Michael McCaskey was replaced by Ted Phillips as Bears president.
The Score will continue to release a new Flashback each weekday until they reach 100. Check back tomorrow for a new one, or check out all of the previous Flashbacks: 670 The Score’s 20th Anniversary »