Chiefs lose ST assistant Kevin O’Dea to Buccaneers

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Chiefs coach Andy Reid on Dec. 9 characterized special teams coordinator Dave Toub and assistant special teams coordinator Kevin O’Dea as Batman and Robin.

Kansas City’s Dynamic Duo is no more, as the Buccaneers announced Thursday O’Dea is one of 11 assistant coaches hired by Tampa Bay’s new coach, Lovie Smith.

Dec 1, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs running back Knile Davis (34) scores on a 105-yard kickoff return against the Denver Broncos at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Dec 1, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs running back Knile Davis (34) scores on a 105-yard kickoff return against the Denver Broncos at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

With Toub and O’Dea at the helm, the Chiefs special teams unit flourished during the 2013 NFL regular season.

The Chiefs special teams had four returns for touchdowns (two punts, two kickoffs) and wide receiver Dexter McCluster was named to the Pro Bowl as a punt returner.

The Chiefs also established an NFL single-season record for highest kickoff return average with 29.9 yards (1,316 yards on 44 returns), breaking the previous mark of 29.4 yards by the Chicago Bears in 1972.

“I’m not really into the year stats and that, but when you’re breaking an NFL record like we did on special teams with our kickoff return average, I think that is worthy of a note there,” Reid said of the record on Dec. 30. “I think Dave (Toub) has done a tremendous job there, both he and Kevin O’Dea, in preparing our guys and then the players obviously have done a nice job with it.”

O’Dea, who enters his 20th NFL season, takes over as the special teams coordinator with the Buccaneers and reunites with Smith.

The two previously served together in Chicago (2006-07, 2011-12) where O’Dea pulled duty as the assistant special teams coach under Toub, then Chicago’s special teams coordinator.

The Buccaneers mark the eighth stop for O’Dea, who had previous stints with the San Diego Chargers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Detroit Lions, Arizona Cardinals, Bears, New York Jets and Chiefs.

Earlier Thursday, Chiefs director of player personnel Chris Ballard chose to stay in Kansas City in lieu of taking the vacant Buccaneers general manager position.