Defensive line coach Wayne Nunnely (R) of the Denver Broncos chats with his defensive linemen as they prepare for training camp practice at Dove Valley on August 18 2010. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Denver Broncos Defensive Line Coach Wayne Nunnely is retiring today. I have mixed emotions over that fact. The last couple of years at Training Camp it was common to hear the rich baritone announce the theme for the Denver Defense, "Nobody runs on the Broncos!" This is a coach that players and even the fans loved. Nunnely has a good nature to him and a contagious laugh to go along with it. He was always cordial to the fans at Training Camp and would come over to chat and sign autographs.
Wayne started coaching 36 years ago in 1975. He coached at Cal Poly Pomona, CSUF, University of the Pacific, USC, UCLA as well as a tenure at Head Coach foe his alma mater UNLV from 1986-89. Nunnely coached Running Backs at first because he was familiar with the position. He played Fullback with the Running Rebels. After another coach quit during one of his college gigs, he was asked to coach the D-Line. Wayne coached Running Backs again for about 8 seasons before switching back across the line for good.
After 18 seasons as a college coach, Wayne graduated to the NFL, joining the the New Orleans Saints in 1995. He coached them for two seasons. He then spent 12 years (1997-2008) coaching the Defensive Line for the San Diego Chargers and has been with the Broncos for the past three seasons. Wayne has coached a few Pro Bowlers in his career. Marcellus Wiley, Jamal Williams and Elvis Dumervil to name a few.
The Broncos named Jay Rodgers as Nunnely's successor. Jay was hired by Denver on Jan. 21, 2009 as a coaching assistant. Last season he was promoted to defensive quality control coach. Consequently, he has worked closely with Nummely for the past three years. Prior to that, he worked for nine seasons at the collegiate level, instructing Iowa State’s Wide Receivers from 2007-08 after coaching Quarterbacks at Stephen F. Austin University (2005-06) and Missouri State (2004). Jay's brother Jeff is the Special Teams Coordinator for the Broncos.
"The defensive line will be in good hands with Jay Rodgers, whom I’ve worked with very closely for the last three years," Nunnely said. "He is very deserving of this opportunity, which he has earned through his hard work and knowledge. Jay has many great qualities as a person and coach that will make him successful in his new role.
The D-Line may be in good hands with Mr. Rodgers, but I'm going to miss that baritone battlecry, "Nobody runs on the Denver Broncos!"
Happy retirement Wayne Nunnely. Thank you for your service.