Bears Coaches Football
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FILE - In this May 14, 2016, file photo, Chicago Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio talks to media after the team's NFL rookie minicamp football practice in Lake Forest, Ill. Fangio is returning to the Bears as their defensive coordinator after being passed up for their head coaching job. Fangio re-signed Friday, Jan.12, 2018, and will continue to lead a defense he helped transform the past three seasons. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, File)

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Forget trading the stars and starting over from scratch. The Broncos aren’t trying to rebuild.

The Broncos will make Vic Fangio the 17th head coach in team history, The Gazette has confirmed. Fangio, 60, has spent 40 years in coaching and will be a head coach for the first time. ESPN's Adam Schefter first reported the hire.

As the Gazette’s Woody Paige detailed a week ago, Fangio last coordinated the Chicago Bears’ top-ranked defense, preceded by defensive stops with the 49ers, Stanford Cardinal, Ravens, Texans, Colts, Panthers, Saints, Philadelphia/Baltimore Stars (USFL), Milford (Conn.) Academy High and Dunmore (Pa.) High, where he started in 1979.

After the Vance Joseph era, which featured a list of head-scratching decisions, here’s a hunch Fangio won’t be blindsided by anything football. It's also a sign John Elway and the Broncos wish to squeeze the final bit of juice from what remains of their Super Bowl 50-winning defense. Fangio’s Bears defense rode a fierce pass rush that ranked third in the NFL with 50 sacks to a playoff spot. They allowed only 17.7 points, the best mark in the NFL. 

With Fangio operating on the defensive side, the hire also opens the door for Gary Kubiak to return as the offensive coordinator. For better or worse, the Broncos know what they like and often stick with it. 

Fangio’s extensive history with so many coaching situations is a steep departure from Joseph, who had been a coordinator for only one year before an 11-21 tenure as the Broncos’ coach. A press conference introducing Fangio is expected later this week.

Sports columnist

Denver sports columnist for The Gazette

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