Chicago Bears Countdown to Kickoff: 46 Days with Doug Plank

Chicago Bears, Doug Plank
Chicago Bears, Doug Plank / George Gojkovich/GettyImages
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Chicago Bears, Doug Plank
Chicago Bears, Doug Plank / Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Doug Plank's coaching career post Chicago Bears

Despite retiring from the NFL, Plank made a return to football after a year away, signing with the Chicago Blitz of the USFL in 1984. After one year in this new league, Plank ended his playing career for good and began to pursue other ventures, mainly including becoming a successful Burger King franchisee.

After almost a decade away from the game of football, Plank made his triumphant return as an analyst in 1995, where he worked with several programs, including Fox Sports, the Arizona Cardinals, the Arizona State Sun Devils, the University of Arizona Wildcats, and the Arizona Rattlers, per his website. Plank also served as a color commentator for both Westwood One and Sports USA Media.

In 2001, Plank stepped away from the commentary game and decided to pursue a coaching career, where he started with the Arena Football League's Georgia Force. After three seasons as the team's head coach, Plank joined the Indoor Football League's Arizona Rattlers' defensive coordinator. Then, Plank made the jump to the NFL, serving as assistant head coach for the Atlanta Falcons and later as a defensive backs coach for the New York Jets. After time in the NFL, Plank spent a season with Ohio State where he served as an assistant. Plank finished his coaching career with one-year stints with the Philadelphia Soul and Orlando Predators, both of which were in the AFL.

In every year as a coach at any level, Plank's team qualified for postseason play, including a Sugar Bowl victory at Ohio State. Plank's teams were generally known for great defense, highlighted by his stint with the Jets, where he was able to work with Buddy Ryan's son, Rex, the team's head coach. That season, the Jets made the AFC Championship game on the backs of a defense that finished the season with the league's best unit in both points and yardage.

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Since stepping away from the game as a coach, Plank has returned to life as an analyst, working with both the NFL and NCAA, and also spending time serving as a motivational speaker, working with sports teams and businesses.