WESTFIELD, Ind. — For years now, Colts team owner Jim Irsay has talked about his unwavering belief in general manager Chris Ballard and head coach Frank Reich, the pair who have taken Indianapolis to the playoffs in two of their three seasons together despite the shocking retirement of Andrew Luck.
Irsay put his money behind his words on Tuesday.
The Colts have signed Ballard and Reich to contract extensions that last through the 2026 season, tying the two decision-makers together for the next half a decade.
“In Chris Ballard and Frank Reich, we have as great a general manager-head coach combination as there is in the NFL, and I can’t tell you how proud I am to have them leading our franchise,” Irsay said in a statement. “I truly believe this football team is on the doorstep of great things, and that’s because of the culture both have cultivated in their time with the Horseshoe. Whether we are marching toward the playoffs or facing adversity, whether we are building our roster or making a difference in the community, we have the ideal leaders in Chris and Frank.”
Ballard was hired first, back in 2017, after years of resisting overtures from other teams to become the general manager, to oversee the deep rebuild of a Colts roster that had gotten thin enough to go 4-12 when Luck was forced to miss the season due to injury.
The Colts fired head coach Chuck Pagano after that ugly season, and although Ballard initially tried to hire Josh McDaniels, only to see the New England Patriots offensive coordinator back out on the deal, he ended up finding the perfect partner in Reich, even though the head coach famously didn’t make Ballard’s initial top five.
“I thought about it after I got done interviewing him,” Ballard said at the time. “I go, ‘My Lord, what was I thinking?’”
Ballard and Reich have gone 28-20 together and made the playoffs twice since pairing up together, including a comeback from a 1-5 start with Luck at the helm in 2018 and an 11-5 showing with Philip Rivers at the helm last season.
And now they’re in position to work together for the next half a decade.
This article originally appeared on Indianapolis Star: Indianapolis Colts extend Chris Ballard, Frank Reich through 2026