January 28, 2015
BRONCOS AGREE TO TERMS WITH WADE PHILLIPS AS DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR & JOE WOODS AS DEFENSIVE BACKS COACH
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — The Denver Broncos agreed to terms with Wade Phillips to be their defensive coordinator and Joe Woods to coach the team’s defensive backs, it was announced on Wednesday.
Phillips, who will begin his 38th NFL season in 2015, spent his last 31 years in the league as a defensive coordinator or head coach. He previously served as Denver’s defensive coordinator from 1989-92 before taking over as the 11th head coach of the franchise from 1993-94.
As a coordinator or head coach, Phillips has led 15 different top-10 defenses and worked with 24 Pro Bowl players, including Pro Football Hall of Fame defensive ends Reggie White and Bruce Smith as well as linebacker Rickey Jackson.
Most recently, Phillips was the defensive coordinator under Head Coach Gary Kubiak in Houston, where he took over the league’s 30th-ranked unit. The Texans finished second in total defense (285.7 ypg) in Phillips’ first year with the team in 2011 as he was named PFW/PFWA Assistant Coach of the Year.
Before working in Houston, Phillips was the defensive coordinator for San Diego (2004-06) and Atlanta (2002-03). He also spent six years in Buffalo as the Bills’ Vice President of Football Operations/Head Coach (1998-2000) and defensive coordinator (1995-97).
He began his tenure in Denver as defensive coordinator in 1989 and led the Broncos to a No. 3 overall defensive ranking (274.5 ypg) that season as the club made a Super Bowl appearance. During his four seasons in that role, Phillips coached Pro Bowl safety Steve Atwater, linebacker Michael Brooks, defensive tackle Greg Kragen, linebacker Karl Mecklenburg and safety Dennis Smith.
Phillips started his NFL career with the Houston Oilers working for his father and Head Coach Bum Phillips. He coached the Oilers’ linebackers in 1979 and instructed the team’s defensive line from 1977-80.
A linebacker at the University of Houston from 1966-68, Phillips began his coaching career with his alma mater as a graduate assistant in 1969. After three years (1970-72) as defensive coordinator at Orange (Texas) High School, Phillips served as an assistant coach at Oklahoma State University (1973-74) and the University of Kansas (1975).
Phillips was born on June 21, 1947, in Orange, Texas, and played linebacker at Port Neches-Grove High School in Port Neches, Texas.
Woods has 23 years of coaching experience, including 11 seasons as an NFL defensive backs coach with Oakland (2014), Minnesota (2006-13) and Tampa Bay (2004-05).
During his eight years with the Vikings, Woods coach cornerback Antoine Winfield, who made three consecutive Pro Bowls (2008-10) under his instruction.
Woods entered the NFL as a defensive backs coach with Tampa Bay, helping the Buccaneers rank first in the NFL in pass defense (172.1 ypg) during his two seasons (2004-05) with the team. Cornerback Ronde Barber earned first-team All-Pro recognition from the Associated Press following both of his seasons playing for Woods.
Prior to joining the Buccaneers, Woods was the defensive backs coach at Western Michigan for three seasons (2001-03). He also spent three years on the staff at Hofstra (1998-2000) in addition to coaching defensive backs at Kent State in 1997 and Grand Valley State from 1994-96.
He began his coaching career at Muskingum College in 1992 before stints at Eastern Michigan (1993-94) and Northwestern State (1994).
A four-year letterman as a safety at Illinois State, Woods was born on June 25, 1970, in North Vandergrift, Pa.
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