Joseph, 44, has 18 years of coaching experience and joins the Broncos after spending the 2016 season as defensive coordinator for the Miami Dolphins. A quarterback at the University of Colorado in the early 1990s, Joseph has been part of playoff appearances in five of the last six seasons while coaching for three different teams (Miami, Cincinnati and Houston) during that span.
Joseph has spent more than a decade in the state of Colorado, playing for the Buffaloes from 1990-94 and then coaching five seasons at his alma mater from 1999-2003. A member of Colorado’s 1990 National Championship team, Joseph played two seasons in the NFL as a defensive back and competed in the Broncos’ 1997 training camp.
As defensive coordinator for Miami in 2016, Joseph oversaw a defense that played a key role in the Dolphins returning to the playoffs for the first time in eight seasons. Despite having to use 13 different starting lineups due to injury, Joseph’s defense ranked fourth in the NFL on third down (36.2%) while forcing the sixth-most negative plays (107) in the league.
The Dolphins won nine of their final 11 regular-season games in 2016 with Joseph’s defense accounting for the fourth-most takeaways (21) in the NFL during that stretch. The Dolphins’ two Pro Bowl selections came on the defensive side with defensive linemen Ndamukong Suh and Cameron Wake each having resurgent seasons under Joseph.
Wake, a Comeback Player of the Year candidate, totaled a team-best 11.5 sacks to represent the 13th most in NFL history by a player 34 years of age or older.
Joseph made back-to-back playoff appearances as Cincinnati’s defensive backs coach from 2014-15 under Head Coach Marvin Lewis, guiding a unit that contributed to a league-best 41 interceptions during that span. The Bengals were the only team to post more interceptions than touchdowns allowed (36) during that two-year stretch while holding opposing quarterbacks to the lowest passer rating (77.4) in the NFL.
Two veteran members of the Bengals’ secondary made their first career Pro Bowls in 2015—cornerback Adam Jones and safety Reggie Nelson—as Cincinnati tied a team record for regular-season wins (12) and finished first in the AFC North.
Joseph coached defensive backs for three seasons (2011-13) in Houston under former Broncos Head Coach Gary Kubiak, helping the Texans to three consecutive top-7 NFL rankings in overall defense. Joseph was part of a Texans’ defense that allowed the third-fewest passing yards per game (203.5) during that three-year stretch, helping Houston to its first two division titles in team history from 2011-12 while winning a playoff game in each of those seasons.
Joseph’s first NFL coaching experience came with San Francisco, where he was hired as assistant defensive backs coach in 2005 before serving as defensive backs coach from 2006-10. He worked under head coaches Mike Nolan and Mike Singletary during his six seasons in San Francisco, where the team’s defenses regularly ranked among the best red zone units in the league.
Joseph began his coaching career at CU under Head Coach Gary Barnett in December 1999 as a graduate assistant. He served in that capacity through the 2001 season that culminated with the Buffs’ Big 12 Championship and Fiesta Bowl appearance.
Joseph accepted a position coaching defensive backs at the University of Wyoming during the Spring of 2002 before he returned to CU in the same capacity beginning that fall. The youngest full-time coach at Colorado at the time of his hire, Joseph worked with CU’s secondary for two seasons before moving on to Bowling Green State University.
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. Also a running back and special-teams standout for CU, he completed 34-of-61 passes (55.7%) for 454 yards with four touchdowns in addition to rushing 50 times for 237 yards (4.7 avg.) with one touchdown during his collegiate career.
Joseph earned his bachelor’s degree in marking from Colorado in 1994.
After signing with the New York Jets as a college free agent in 1995, Joseph converted to cornerback and started 6-of-13 games played as a rookie, totaling 21 tackles (17 solo), two interceptions (39 yds.) and five passes defensed. He played four more games with Indianapolis in 1996 before competing with Denver during the 1997 preseason.
The Marrero, La., native starred at Archbishop Shaw High School, where he led his team to a 37-6 record in his three seasons as the starting quarterback and won Louisiana’s 4A state championship as a sophomore. He garnered USA Today honorable-mention All-America honors as a senior and also lettered all four seasons in basketball.
Born on Sept. 20, 1972, Joseph and his wife, Holly, have a daughter, Nataly, and a son, Stone.
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.”
|VANCE JOSEPH’S COACHING EXPERIENCE||ALL-TIME DENVER BRONCOS HEAD COACHES|
|1999||Colorado||Graduate Assistant||Frank Filchock||1960-61|
|2000||Colorado||Graduate Assistant||Jack Faulkner||1962-64|
|2001||Colorado||Graduate Assistant||Mac Speedie*||1964-66|
|2002||Wyoming||Defensive Backs (Spring)||Ray Malavasi*||1966|
|2002||Colorado||Defensive Backs||Lou Saban||1967-71|
|2003||Colorado||Defensive Backs||Jerry Smith*||1971|
|2004||Bowling Green||Defensive Backs||John Ralston||1972-76|
|2005||San Francisco||Asst. Defensive Backs||Red Miller||1977-80|
|2006||San Francisco||Defensive Backs||Dan Reeves||1981-92|
|2007||San Francisco||Defensive Backs||Wade Phillips||1993-94|
|2008||San Francisco||Defensive Backs||Mike Shanahan||1995-2008|
|2009||San Francisco||Defensive Backs||Josh McDaniels||2009-10|
|2010||San Francisco||Defensive Backs||Eric Studesville*||2010|
|2011||Houston||Defensive Backs||John Fox||2011-14|
|2012||Houston||Defensive Backs||Gary Kubiak||2015-16|
|2013||Houston||Defensive Backs||Vance Joseph||2017-pres.|
|2014||Cincinnati||Defensive Backs||*Interim Head Coach|