Chicago Bears officially hire CFL legend Henry Burris as coach for 2020 NFL season

Photo courtesy: Scott Grant/

Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy announced the team is keeping former CFL quarterback Henry Burris on its coaching staff for the 2020 season.

“I wanted to let everybody know we’re really excited to be able to say that coach Henry Burris, we’re going to keep him on staff seasonally. He’s done a really great job with us. He has an amazing personality with the players, with coaches,” Nagy said.

The hiring came after Burris spent training camp with the Bears through the Bill Walsh diversity coaching fellowship. It has existed since 1987 to use NFL clubs’ training camps, off-season workout programs and mini-camps to give talented coaches opportunities to observe, participate, gain experience with the end goal being permanent NFL employment.

“With Henry, he has a lot of good ideas. For us he’s able to look at it from a quarterbacks perspective, which is where it will be a great fit for him to help out. He can bounce around and be in difference rooms and give us an opinion as to where he’s at,” Nagy said.

“We have a lot of respect for who he is and his experience in football in general. We’ll bounce him around, but we can put him on different projects, and have him maybe look ahead and help us out with future teams, maybe a certain self-scout study that we could use him.”

Burris played 294 career games with Calgary, Saskatchewan, Hamilton, and Ottawa, winning three Grey Cups in five appearances. He threw for 63,639 yards over 18 seasons and remains the third-leading passer — and third-leading rusher among quarterbacks — in CFL history. In 2010 and 2015 man with the smile recognized across Canada earned the league’s Most Outstanding Player Award.

“We love his background of where he’s been and his knowledge. We’re fired up about having him be on with us this season. It’s going to help everybody out. It just really helps him out being in the building everyday building relationships, which he’s done a phenomenal job with,” Nagy said.

“It’s a growing opportunity, I told him that’s exactly how I got started, I did an internship for two years and then coach [Andy] Reid called me up and gave me a lower level entry job, and that’s how I got my foot in the door. He knows what’s ahead of him and I have nothing but high expectations for him.”

Chicago will be a familiar environment as Burris played quarterback for the Bears during the 2002 season. Burris will try to help Chicago return the playoffs following an 8-8 campaign in 2019. In Nagy’s first season as bench boss, the Bears went 12-4 and lost in the NFC Wild Card round.