Chiefs coach Haley hands defense over to Pendergast

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Clancy Pendergast, the defensive coordinator for Arizona's run to last season's Super Bowl, was hired as defensive coordinator for the Kansas City Chiefs on Friday.

Pendergast joins Chiefs head coach Todd Haley, who was the Cardinals' offensive coordinator in 2008.

While Haley and Pendergast were helping to take the Cardinals to the top of the NFL last year, the Chiefs were finishing 2-14, the worst record in franchise history. Particularly miserable was a defense that finished 31st overall and managed 10 sacks, an NFL record for futility. He replaces Gunther Cunningham, who quit shortly after the end of the regular season and was named defensive coordinator at Detroit.

Pendergast had already been hired to the Chiefs' new staff on Feb. 17, along with Gary Gibbs, who had been defensive coordinator at New Orleans. Gibbs, who worked with Pendergast at Dallas, will be in charge of linebackers in Kansas City.

"Clancy was instrumental in the Arizona Cardinals' run at the end of last season that led to our appearance in the Super Bowl," Haley said. "The fact that we have experience working together along with Clancy's previous experience working with Gary Gibbs will be a big factor in our continuity as we move forward."

Pendergast had been Arizona's defensive coordinator the past five seasons and has a total of 14 years of NFL coaching experience. His defense last year led the NFL with 17 fumble recoveries and was fifth in the league with 30 takeaways. He was linebackers coach with Cleveland in 2003 and spent seven years with the Cowboys starting in 1996.

Pendergast's hiring in Kansas City came 10 days after he was told he would not return as defensive coordinator with the Cardinals.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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