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Frank Reich
Jersey #(s)
Born December 4, 1961 (1961-12-04) (age 48)
Freeport, New York
Career information
Year(s) 19851998
NFL Draft 1985 / Round: 3 / Pick: 57
College Maryland
Professional teams

Playing career

Coaching career

Career stats
TD-INT 40-36
Yards 6,075
QB Rating 72.9
Stats at
Career highlights and awards
  • No notable achievements

Frank Michael Reich (born December 4, 1961 in Freeport, New York) is a former American football quarterback in the NFL for the Buffalo Bills, Carolina Panthers, New York Jets, and the Detroit Lions. For a time, he had the distinction of having led his team to the biggest comeback victory ever in both the collegiate and professional ranks. Reich and starter Jim Kelly formed one of the longest-tenured backup-and-starter tandems, playing together for nine years (1986 - 1994). He is currently the quarterbacks coach for the Indianapolis Colts.


High school years

Reich attended Cedar Crest High School in Lebanon, Pennsylvania where he played baseball and football, and basketball. Reich started on the football team for his last two years in high school. He played quarterback in the Big 33 Football Classic (known as the "Super Bowl of high school games") his senior year of high school.[1]

College career

Reich was accepted to the University of Maryland on a football scholarship and played backup to Boomer Esiason the first few years.[1] The biggest highlight of his college career was the comeback he led against the University of Miami Hurricanes on November 10, 1984 at the Orange Bowl Stadium. Reich came off the bench to play for Stan Gelbaugh, who had previously replaced him as the starter after Reich separated his shoulder in the fourth week of the season against Wake Forest. Miami quarterback Bernie Kosar had led the 'Canes to a 31-0 lead at halftime. At the start of the third quarter, Reich led the Maryland Terrapins on multiple scoring drives. Three touchdowns in the third quarter and a fourth at the start of the final quarter turned what was a blowout into a close game. With the score 34-28 Miami, Reich hit Greg Hill with a 68-yard touchdown pass which deflected off the hands of Miami safety Darrell Fullington to take the lead. Maryland scored once more to cap a 42-9 second half, and won the game 42-40, completing what was then the biggest comeback in NCAA history.

This comeback from 31 points down has since been exceeded by the Michigan State University Spartans' 41-38 comeback win in 2006 over the Northwestern University Wildcats during which Michigan State trailed 38-3 in the third quarter.

NFL career

Reich was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the third round (57th overall) in the 1985 NFL Draft. The Bills already had drafted future Hall of Famer Jim Kelly in 1983 and when Kelly signed with the Bills in 1986, Reich was relegated to the backup role. Reich got his first start when Kelly went down with a shoulder injury in 1989. Reich led the Bills to two straight victories. He rallied the Bills in the fourth quarter by throwing two drives down the field for a 23-20 victory over the previously unbeaten Los Angeles Rams.[1] This first game for Reich occurred in front of a Rich Stadium crowd of 76,231 and a Monday Night Football audience. Reich returned the following season, however, when Kelly was injured again late in the season. Reich provided the Bills with two key wins, clinching them the AFC East title and home field advantage throughout the playoffs.

On January 3, 1993, Reich led the Bills on a 35-3 run in the second half and overtime against the Houston Oilers en route to a 41-38 victory, the largest comeback in NFL history. Reich would help the Bills defeat the Pittsburgh Steelers in the divisional round with a score of 23-7 before once again giving the team back to Kelly, who led them into Super Bowl XXVII, where they fell to the Dallas Cowboys 52-17.

After giving the Bills one more comeback victory late in the 1993 NFL season, Reich was picked from the Bills in the 1995 expansion draft to join the Carolina Panthers to start off their first year. He threw the first touchdown pass to former Bills player Pete Metzelaars in Bank of America Stadium.[1] Although he started several games for them, he was replaced mid-season by Kerry Collins. He was signed by the New York Jets where he started for seven games and the Detroit Lions. Reich retired following the 1998 NFL season.

In the first round of the 1997 NFL playoffs, Reich took over as quarterback for the Detroit Lions when Scott Mitchell was knocked out of the game. Late in the game, Reich dropped back and spiked the ball accidentally on fourth down, giving the ball to opponent Tampa Bay.

In the year of 2008, he served as an offensive assistant and quarterbacks coach for the Indianapolis Colts. After Tony Dungy retired early in the year of 2009, Jim Caldwell (former Colts quarterback coach) replaced Dungy and Reich took his place as the new quarterbacks coach.[2]

Life outside of football

Throughout Reich's NFL career, he remained a devout Christian. He is a motivational speaker utilizing the great comebacks and the importance of God as a main keynote of his speeches. He credits the song "In Christ Alone" by Michael English as his inspiration. He belongs to the Premier Speakers Bureau where his main topics are communication and teamwork. Frank attended the Charlotte Campus of Reformed Theological Seminary, Charlotte, North Carolina. There, he received a Seminary Degree and Master of Divinity. He served as the second president of Reformed Theological Seminary from 2003-2006. Reich was also a pastor at Ballantyne Presbyterian until he moved to Indianapolis.[1]

While living in Buffalo, New York in the early 90s, Reich met a man named Jim Case who Reich hired to build his deck and refinish his base. A friendship between Reich and Case formed and they started a company together called Pro Display Inc. which specialized in sports memorabilia. Their main item was a football stand inspired by Frank's dad who created a wooden stand shaped like a football field where the goal posts held up the football. Frank Reich had co-founded a retail business in the 90s that he started with friend Boomer Esiason and two others. They were part owners of Jim and Chuck's Boot Shop. The store expanded over the New England area with fifteen stores where they still remain today.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Reich, Frank. Telephone Interview. 9 February 2009.
  2. ^ "Coaches Roster". 2009. 12 Feb 2009.

External links



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