Thirty years to the day after engineering one of the greatest moments in NFL history, “The Drive,” Elway made another big play on Jan. 11, naming Vance Joseph the 16th head coach in Broncos franchise history.
Joseph, who played college football and coached at the University of Colorado, takes his first head coaching job just one year after landing his first defensive coordinator gig last season with the Miami Dolphins. All told, Joseph has 18 years coaching experience with three different college programs and four NFL franchises. The Denver Broncos will be his fifth NFL club. He previously coached with recently retired Broncos head coach Gary Kubiak in Houston, as well as stints with Cincinnati and San Francisco.
Joseph, 44, was a three-year letterwinner as a quarterback at CU from 1990-94, Joseph saw action in 30 games for the Buffs as a backup to All-Americans Darian Hagan and Kordell Stewart. He played one year each with the Colts and Jets in the NFL before embarking on his coaching career.
Joseph will formally meet the media as Denver’s new head coach at noon MT on Thursday, but the Broncos issued the following statements in conjunction with the announcement of his hiring on Wednesday:
STATEMENT FROM BRONCOS HEAD COACH VANCE JOSEPH
“Becoming head coach of the Denver Broncos is a dream job for many reasons. The Broncos have an unbelievable winning tradition and great fan support. But what makes this even more special is it’s a place that’s ready to win. This is not a rebuilding situation—It’s a reboot. There is a culture of winning here, and the standards around here won’t change—Those are to win championships.
“I am very thankful to John Elway and Joe Ellis for this opportunity. It’s incredibly humbling to be part of an organization like the Broncos with so much history and success, especially when you see all the great things this franchise has accomplished under Mr. Bowlen.
“I can’t wait to get to work with our players and become part of this community.”
STATEMENT FROM BRONCOS EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT OF FOOTBALL OPERATIONS/GENERAL MANAGER JOHN ELWAY
“During this process, we were very fortunate to spend time with three very qualified candidates who all could have been the next head coach of our team. For us, Vance Joseph is the best fit to become the head coach of the Denver Broncos.
“Vance is very good football coach and teacher who is ready for this opportunity. His leadership qualities, his vision for building a championship team and his ability to get the most out of players are off the charts. In talking with Vance, the culture that he believes in and the culture of our organization are closely aligned and focused on one thing: Winning. He understands the high expectations this franchise has always had under Pat Bowlen, and he embraces them.
“We had the chance to get to know Vance a few years ago during his interview, and since that time, he’s only continued to have success and grow as a coach. I’m very excited to welcome Vance and his family to Denver, and I look forward to working with him on our goal of competing for World Championships.”
STATEMENT FROM BRONCOS PRESIDENT & CEO JOE ELLIS
“Our organization is very proud to name Vance Joseph as head coach of the Denver Broncos. Vance believes strongly in two things that have defined Pat Bowlen’s ownership and championship history with this team: winning and doing things the right way. It was clear during the interview process that Vance’s depth of experience, his leadership and his very honest approach to coaching made him the best choice.
“This team has had an unbelievable amount of success with John Elway as general manager, and I commend John for leading this search to bring Vance to the Denver Broncos.”
Additionally, former coaches who worked with Joseph chimed in with the following thoughts about Denver’s new head coach.
DOLPHINS HEAD COACH AND FORMER BRONCOS OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR ADAM GASE
“He’s done a great job with our players. I can speak for that first hand. He took so much off my plate where I never had to worry about anything with the defense. He really did a great job with all those guys in that room. Once he was hired, I knew that side of the ball was good to go and I was able to focus on what I needed to with the offense. He has a strong personality and he demands a lot from players and they give him everything they have, which is a testament to his ability as a leader.”
FORMER BRONCOS HEAD COACH GARY KUBIAK
Vance has been in preparation for this opportunity for many years. He is a leader of men who gets the most out his players. V.J. is demanding yet passionate in his relationship with them. He is a tremendous addition to the Bronco family. I am so proud of him. His future and the future of the Denver Broncos is very bright. I congratulate V.J. and it’s well deserved.
FORMER UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO HEAD COACH GARY BARNETT
Players loved him. He was a really good teacher. He was firm but yet fair. They really liked him and related to him. He was a guy that players could certainly relate to. He did a good job with them. From there he’s just had great experiences in the NFL, I know that. He certainly seems to be really highly regarded by certain GMs and certain programs. He’s a great guy. I’d love to have him back around just because he and Holly (wife) are so cool.