Broncos Hire Vic Fangio As HC

The Broncos have a new head coach. On Wednesday, Denver reached agreement with Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, sources tell Adam Schefter and Dan Graziano of ESPN (on Twitter). As is the usual standard, the deal will be a four-year contract with a team option for a fifth year. 

[RELATED: PFR’s 2019 Head Coaching Search Tracker]

On Thursday, the Broncos made it official.

Vic really impressed us with his attention to detail — His focus is on teaching the fundamentals, technique and playing disciplined football,” GM John Elway said. “Going through this process and talking to many qualified candidates, it became clear that Vic was the best choice to lead our team. There are few things that Vic has not seen in 40 years of coaching. He’s been great on the defensive side of the ball for a number of years with a simple, detailed approach that gets results. With his intelligence and experience, Vic is as good of a football coach as you can find. He’s the perfect fit and exactly what we need as head coach of the Denver Broncos.”

The Broncos are hoping that Fangio will help restore the defense to its former glory. Meanwhile, they’ll have to pay special attention to how they fill out the rest of their staff.

Fangio is experienced, but the 60-year-old has never served as a head coach at any level. And, despite all of his defensive acumen, they’ll need a sharp and seasoned offensive team to handle the other side of the ball. Shortly after agreeing to terms with Fangio, the Broncos took a big step in that direction by appointing Gary Kubiak as the team’s offensive coordinator.

Fangio was largely overlooked in last year’s cycle, but the Bears’ success in 2018 vaulted him to the top of Denver’s list. Despite their early playoff exit against the Eagles, the Bears’ D thrived – they ranked No. 1 in scoring defense and allowed just 17.7 points per game.

Fangio has spent the last four year as the Bears’ DC. Before that, he had four years as the 49ers’ DC and also had DC stints with the Panthers, Colts, and Texans.

The hiring leaves the Bears with a DC vacancy of their own. This also means that runner-up Mike Munchak will have to evaluate other options. Munchak interviewed for the Broncos, Packers, and Browns’ head coaching jobs, but they have all been filled. The Dolphins reached out to Munchak, but he turned down their interview request earlier this month.

The hiring of Fangio coupled with the Browns’ hiring of Freddie Kitchens on Wednesday leaves the Dolphins, Bengals and Jets as the only teams with head coaching vacancies.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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37 comments on “Broncos Hire Vic Fangio As HC

  1. RoXGB

    Kubiak the OC/play caller, boring, and they can’t get out of the past. Hello middle of the road for the next few years. Bronco fan here, just calling it as I see it. Elway doesn’t want to rebuild over his final 3 years, just wants to be average, then the next group will have to do the heavy lifting.

    • connfyoozed

      They should be doing whatever they have to do to keep Munchak, and I’m very afraid that they aren’t.

      • bucsfan

        The Steelers can’t block Munchak from interviews that would be a promotion. They can block lateral moves—not sure if the NFL considers coordinators a step up from other assistant coaches for that purpose though.

  2. dray16

    I could see Gase in as OC, history in Chicago together, QB coach in Denver, makes a lot of sense.

        • JamesW26

          When the Broncos played the Dolphins last season, they were losing 33-9 when Gase went for an onside kick. There is reported conflict between Elway and Gase dating back to 2015 when Gase was a candidate for the 49ers job. Allegedly, Elway gave a bad reference to Trent Baalke, which Gase thought was because Elway wanted to hire him as head coach in Denver. Instead, the job went to Gary Kubiak, and Gase has held a grudge.

  3. Thronson5

    I really love the hire. I’m happy for Vangio, hopefully it all works out.

    • NU Wildcats

      ^
      This.

      Is Donatell the replacement, or someone outside the organization?

      • dray16

        Probably outside, wouldn’t be surprised to see Donatell head to Denver as well.

        • NU Wildcats

          Just read Chicago Tribune (Brad Biggs) that Todd Bowles hasn’t officially signed with the Bucs and has received an offer from the Bears. So he’s weighing his options!

          • dray16

            Greg Williams available as well now. They still have the players, Chicago would be high on the list for coordinators you’d think.

            • Steven Juris

              Gregg would never allow his defensive players the chance to play offense. He caused internal problems when he was with the Saints. Something Pace is real familiar with since he was there at the time.

          • dray16

            Nagy’s dad coached Bowles in high school, they have a friendship that goes wayyy back.

            • brewcrewbernie

              Bowles is an offensive coordinator, Fangio leaving means nothing for him.

                • brewcrewbernie

                  Lol all the Browns talk I was thinking of Todd Haley. Still hungover in the Brew City haha

                    • NU Wildcats

                      He actually didn’t. News outlets reported he was the DC but he didn’t sign anything yesterday. Drink lots of fluids and take some ibuprofen.

                      • midway_monster85

                        I really thought/hoped Vic would stay. Denver is a rough place for a any head coach right now let alone a first timer. I wish him all the best, but that one stings.

                      • Steven Juris

                        Bowles promised Arians that he will come with Bruce to whatever job Bruce took as long as it wasn’t the Jets.

    • crosseyedlemon

      Time for you to call it quits with the Illini Lovie and come back to Chicago and lead the defense.

      • ortsacnilrats

        I wondered this as well. Not sure he’d be welcomed back or not. Not sure how’d I feel about it either but was a hell of a coach when we had him so I’d be open to it.

        • Steven Juris

          Rivera was a hell of a coach for the Bears it was Ron’s defense that got us to the Super Bowl. Lovie was there for the ride.

          • ortsacnilrats

            29 wins in three seasons with Rivera from 04-06.

            29 wins in three seasons without Rivers from 2010-2012.

            Point being it was all Rivera and he was only there for 3 of the 9 years Smith was.

            • Steven Juris

              With Rivera 2 division titles. Without him one and couldn’t beat Rodgers if his job depended on it. Plus no coach in history survived 6 different bad hires on the offensive side. Lovie only cared about his defense. Fine for a DC, terrible for a head coach.

              • ortsacnilrats

                Noted. But the original statement was to bring him in as DC in which I replied he was a hell of a coach (in that role). Which I realize may not have been terribly clear. Same page.

  4. madmanTX

    Glad to see the Jedi mind trick still works. No Munchak for you, Bronco fans!

  5. crosseyedlemon

    Not all co-ordinators make a successful transition to the top job and I think Vic is one of those guys that is great at working with a confined unit on a team but probably going to struggle with a job that has a wider scope. He certainly has earned his chance as a HC and we will miss him in Chicago.

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