Featured Image Credit: Twitter, John Elway
After a lengthy interview on Tuesday and a dinner at John Elway’s restaurant in Cherry Creek, Vance Joseph returned to UC Health Training Center on Wednesday morning and officially accepted the job as the 16th head coach in Denver Broncos history.
Elway announced the news on Twitter himself:
Excited to announce Vance Joseph as head coach of the Denver Broncos! pic.twitter.com/m87uUn9KXs
— John Elway (@johnelway) January 11, 2017
Joseph, a graduate of the University of Colorado, played two years professionally as a defensive back for the Colts (1995) and Jets (’96) before eventually returning to his alma mater to pursue a coaching career.
Joseph, 44, was a graduate assistant with the Buffaloes from 1999-2001 before leaving Colorado for a brief stint with the University of Wyoming as defensive backs coach. He returned to Colorado for two years, 2002-03, and coached one year at Bowling Green before entering the NFL ranks.
He logged six years with the San Francisco 49ers, a team he had scheduled to interview with for a head coaching position prior to accepting the Denver job, his longest tenure in any coaching position in his career.
Gary Kubiak, whom Joseph replaces in Denver, hired him as defensive backs coach in Houston in 2011 where he remained until wholesale change was made as part of Kubiak’s ouster. Joseph landed on his feet in Cincinnati, where he orchestrated one of the top defensive secondaries in football in 2014 and 2015.
Joseph nearly came to Denver in 2015 when Kubiak returned to Denver as head coach, but the Bengals blocked Joseph from interviewing for Denver’s vacant defensive coordinator position at the time. He would eventually earn that title with Miami in 2016.
Since 2011, Joseph’s teams have only missed the playoffs once – the 2013 Texans. And although his defense ranked 29th in the league and 18th in points allowed in 2016, he was part of a Miami coaching staff that engineered a 10-6 season and Wild Card berth despite getting off to a 1-4 start with their only win coming against Cleveland.
Joseph replaces Kubiak after just two years on the job. Kubiak’s Broncos won 24 games in those two years, including Super Bowl 50 – the franchise’s third world championship. Kubiak stepped down because of health concerns following his second hospitalization in three years.
With the hiring of Joseph, Denver is now on its fifth head coach in eight years. Josh McDaniels was let go after eight games of the 2010 season, making way for interim head coach Eric Studesville, the team’s first African-Amercian head coach. Studesville remained on the staff in 2011 as running backs coach, but was not offered the full-time head coaching position. He remains with the team to this day. John Fox was John Elway’s first hire as a head coach, leading Denver to division titles in each of his four seasons and an AFC Championship in 2013. Kubiak replaced fox in 2015 and went on to win the Super Bowl in his first season as head coach in Denver. The Broncos finished 9-7 and out of the playoffs in 2016 before Kubiak retired.
The fifteen previous coaches in Denver, in order are: Frank Filchock (1960-61), Jack Faulkner (1962-64), Mac Speedie (1964-66), Ray Malavasi (1966), Lou Saban (1967-71), Jerry Smith (1971), John Ralston (1972-76), Red Miller (1977-80), Dan Reeves (1981-92), Wade Phillips (1993-94), Mike Shanahan (1995-2008), Josh McDaniels (2008-10), Eric Studesville (2010), John Fox (2011-14) and Gary Kubiak (2015-16).