The short wait is over.
The Broncos will hire Chicago Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio as head coach on a four-year deal, with an option for a fifth, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Dan Graziano.
The 60-year-old will arrive in Denver as a first-time head coach but, unlike his predecessor Vance Joseph, does so with 30 years coaching experience as a defensive coordinator with five NFL teams and Stanford.
Denver reached agreement with Bears’ DC Vic Fangio to become the Broncos’ next head coach, sources tell me and @DanGrazianoESPN. It will be a four-year deal plus a team option for a fifth, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 9, 2019
Fangio’s appointment comes after the Broncos’ “wide net” search — led by president of football operations/general manager John Elway — for a new head coach yielded a five-man long list, including former head coaches Chuck Pagano and Mike Munchak.
Munchak, a Hall of Fame guard and current offensive line coach with the Pittsburgh Steelers, was reportedly also on the shortlist.
Despite the trend of clubs trying to find the latest bright, young thing in the mold of Kyle Shanahan and Sean McVay, the Broncos have returned to the seasoned vet model to turn the club’s fortunes around after back-to-back losing seasons for the first time since 1972.
Fangio masterminded notable improvements in defenses on most of his stops around football, including San Francisco and Chicago.
The Bears had the best defense in the NFL in 2018 as they returned to the playoffs for the first time in eight years before losing to the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC Wild Card round.
Vic Fangio now gets to run the Broncos' team and defense; Gary Kubiak gets to run the offense. Fangio and Kubiak now lead the way.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 9, 2019
Former offensive coordinator and head coach Gary Kubiak will return to the sidelines to run the offense and assist Fangio with head coaching duties.
Kubiak was offensive coordinator when the Broncos won back-to-back Super Bowls with Elway at quarterback in 1997 and 1998 and won Super Bowl 50 in his first season as head coach in Denver.
Fangio will be unveiled to the media on Thursday.