Bears Thank Fangio: 'Could Not Be Happier For Him'

"Vic was a key leader in bringing great defense back to Chicago," Ryan Pace says.

January 10, 2019 - 12:16 pm

(670 The Score) On a day in which Vic Fangio was officially named the Broncos' new head coach, the Bears lauded him for the work he has done over the past four seasons as their defensive coordinator and in helping to re-establish their identity.

"I want to thank Vic for his last four seasons as our defensive coordinator and wish him the best as head coach of the Denver Broncos," general manager Ryan Pace said in a statement Thursday. "Vic was a key leader in bringing great defense back to Chicago. We will continue to build upon the foundation he helped establish. Under the leadership of head coach Matt Nagy and the rest of his coaching staff, we are confident in the development and improvement of a talented defensive unit."

Since arriving with John Fox's coaching staff in 2015, Fangio directed the turnaround of the Bears defense that ranked 31st in points allowed per game in 2014 (27.6) to first in 2018 (17.7). Chicago also led the NFL in takeaways with 36 in the regular season.

A career defensive assistant of 32 NFL seasons, Fangio was lauded and respected by his players and coaching cohorts, who were thrilled to see him receive an opportunity that he earned.

"I want to congratulate Vic on his opportunity of becoming a head coach in the NFL," Nagy said in a statement. "There are only 32 of these jobs in the world, and I know what it means to him to get his chance in Denver. I also want to thank him for all his help in my first season with the Chicago Bears. It is bittersweet to move on, but he has more than earned this opportunity and I could not be happier for him."

The Bears' search for Fangio's replacement is continuing after former Jets coach Todd Bowles on Wednesday was hired as the Buccaneers' defensive coordinator. Bowles had received interest from Chicago.