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Ranking the Broncos head coach candidates

Vic Fangio is our favorite to become the 17th head coach in Broncos’ history. Who is your favorite?

The search for a new head coach is quite the experience.

Not for the people who are involved in the process, but for the fans. Though I’m sure the people who make the hire would agree it’s not something they would prefer to do that often.

When teams make clear who the candidates are, fans begin the process of pondering who they favor and loathe. Since Vance Joseph was fired last Monday, fans of the Denver Broncos have done that with the five (known) candidates to become the organization’s 17th head coach. As it stands today, John Elway and the committee have done four interviews and have one left scheduled for Monday.

To play off of that, here is how the MHR staff lists their favorite and least favorite candidates. Included is a bio for each with some background on who they are and where they come from. It’s not as extensive as the “get-to-knows” I did on each of the three candidates from the last search for a Broncos head coach, but there are two more candidates and it seems the interviews started quicker this go-round (that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it).

On the latest MHR Radio Podcast, Adam Malnati and I were joined by Ryan Edwards and Andrew Mason to ponder the strategy for the next Broncos head coach. We asked the hosts of First & 10 @ 10 on Orange & Blue 760 who their favorite is, and you’ll find out shortly who that was ...

1 — Vic Fangio

The current defensive coordinator for the Chicago Bears is my and the staff’s choice to be Denver’s head coach. One of the big reasons is the success of his defense and the Godfather-like attitude he’ll bring to the Broncos locker room. The key is who Fangio’s coordinators are, especially on offense. But the way he coaches, his system and the respect he’s earned from players is incredibly enticing. When you consider the torment Patrick Mahomes will cause over the next decade or so, an “evil genius” like Fangio is crucial.


Birthdate: Aug. 22, 1958

Birth place: Dunmore, PA.

Education: Dunmore High; East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania

Coaching resume

  • 1979-81: Dunmore High (defensive coordinator/linebackers coach)
  • 1982: Milford Academy (CT) (defensive coordinator)
  • 1984: Baltimore Stars (USFL) (defensive assistant)
  • 1986-94: New Orleans Saints (linebackers coach)
  • 1995–98: Carolina Panthers (defensive coordinator)
  • 1999–2001: Indianapolis Colts (defensive coordinator)
  • 2002–05: Houston Texans (defensive coordinator)
  • 2006–08: Baltimore Ravens (special assistant to head coach/defensive assistant)
  • 2009: Ravens (linebackers coach)
  • 2010: Stanford (defensive coordinator)
  • 2011–14: San Francisco 49ers (defensive coordinator)
  • 2015–present: Bears (defensive coordinator)

Chicago defensive rankings in 2018

Total yards per game allowed: Third (299.7)

Rushing yards per game allowed: First (80.0)

Passing yards per game allowed: Seventh (219.7)

Points per game allowed: First (17.7)

2 — Mike Munchak

The offensive line coach for the Pittsburgh Steelers was No. 2 for me and the staff. As noted earlier, Mase and Ryan both had Munchak as their favorite to become the Broncos next head coach on the podcast. After listening to both of them, it’s intriguing. Munchak is known to develop players, and he could improve one of the biggest issues in Denver for the last few years — the offensive line. Plus, the fact he’s spent some time in Pittsburgh will help him evolve and grow from his first stint as a head coach with the Tennessee Titans. Munchak is also a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame as an offensive lineman.


Birthdate: March 5, 1960

Birth place: Scranton, PA

Education: Scranton High; Pennsylvania State University

Coaching resume

  • 1994-96: Houston Oilers (offensive assistant/quality control)
  • 1997-2010: Titans (offensive line coach)
  • 2011-13: Titans (head coach)

Head coach record

Regular season: 22-26 (.458)

Postseason: No playoff games

Career record: 22-26 (.458)

  • 2014-present: Steelers (offensive line coach)

Pittsburgh offensive rankings in 2018

Total yards per game: Fourth (403.3)

Rushing yards per game: Thirty-first (90.3)

Passing yards per game: Second (313.0)

Points per game: Tied for sixth (26.8)

3 — Zac Taylor

Perhaps the biggest risk/reward candidate of the bunch. The current Los Angeles Rams quarterbacks coach is only 35, and you’re left to wonder if the hype has more to do with who Taylor works for — Sean McVay. There is potential Taylor could also become the offensive coordinator for one of the two guys listed above if they land the head coaching gig. The thought amongst some is, if Elway doesn’t go with Taylor now, he’ll miss out on him and we’ll see Taylor become the next McVay.


Birthdate: May 10, 1983

Birthplace: Norman, OK

Education: Norman High; Butler Community College (Kansas); University of Nebraska

Coaching resume

  • 2008-11: Texas A&M (graduate assistant)
  • 2012: Miami Dolphins (assistant quarterbacks coach)
  • 2013-15: Dolphins (quarterbacks coach)
  • 2015: Dolphins (offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach)
  • 2016: Cincinnati (offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach)
  • 2017: Rams (assistant wide receivers coach)
  • 2018-present: Rams (quarterbacks coach)

LA Rams offensive rankings in 2018

Total yards per game: Second (421.1)

Rushing yards per game: Third (139.4)

Passing yards per game: Fifth (281.7)

Points per game: Second (32.9)

Tie — Chuck Pagano and Brian Flores

The staff summoned the least amount of excitement for these two guys. It says something that there was a tie in our staff poll. For me, it was Pagano followed by Flores. As with Taylor, I wonder if Pagano could be the defensive coordinator for either Fangio or Munchak. In terms of Flores, Broncos Country wants no part in another New England Patriots coordinator.

Pagano personal

Birthdate: Oct. 2, 1960

Birthplace: Boulder

Education: Fairview High; University of Wyoming

Coaching resume

  • 1984-85: Southern California (graduate assistant)
  • 1986: Miami (graduate assistant)
  • 1987-88: Boise State (linebackers coach)
  • 1989: East Carolina (defensive backs coach)
  • 1990: UNLV (defensive backs coach)
  • 1991: UNLV (defensive coordinator)
  • 1992-94: East Carolina (defensive backs/linebackers coach)
  • 1995-2000: Miami (defensive backs/special teams coach)
  • 2001-04: Cleveland Browns (secondary coach)
  • 2005-06: Oakland Raiders (defensive backs coach)
  • 2007: North Carolina (defensive coordinator)
  • 2008-10: Ravens (secondary coach)
  • 2011: Ravens (defensive coordinator)
  • 2012-17: Colts (head coach)

Regular season: 53-43 (.552)

Postseason: 3-3 (.500)

Career record: 56-46 (.549)

Flores personal

Birthdate: Feb. 24, 1981

Birth place: Brooklyn, NY

Education: Poly Prep Country Day School; Boston College

Coaching resume

  • 2004-05: New England Patriots (scouting assistant)
  • 2006-07: Patriots (pro scout)
  • 2008-09: Patriots (special teams assistant)
  • 2010: Patriots (assistant offense/special teams)
  • 2011: Patriots (defensive assistant)
  • 2012-15: Patriots (safeties coach)
  • 2016-18: Patriots (linebackers coach)
  • 2018-present: Patriots (defensive coordinator)

New England defensive rankings in 2018

Total yards per game allowed: Twenty-first (359.1)

Rushing yards per game allowed: Eleventh (112.7)

Passing yards per game allowed: Twenty-second (246.4)

Points per game allowed: Seventh (20.3)


Who is your favorite candidate for head coach?

This poll is closed

  • 14%
    Zac Taylor
    (563 votes)
  • 1%
    Brian Flores
    (45 votes)
  • 18%
    Mike Munchak
    (750 votes)
  • 9%
    Chuck Pagano
    (390 votes)
  • 56%
    Vic Fangio
    (2271 votes)
4019 votes total Vote Now