The Miami Dolphins enter the 2023 NFL season expecting to return to the playoffs. Second-year head coach Mike McDaniel hired a new defensive coordinator this past offseason in hopes of improving a unit that finished 24th in scoring in 2022.
Who Is the Miami Dolphins’ Defensive Coordinator?
Vic Fangio is the Dolphins’ defensive coordinator. Born August 22, 1958, Fangio is entering his 23rd season in the NFL as a coordinator or head coach. The Dolphins are the seventh franchise he’s coached for.
Fangio’s coaching career began in 1979 when he was 21 years old. He started as a linebackers coach at Dunmore High School in Pennsylvania. He later coached at the University of North Carolina before becoming a defensive assistant for the Philadelphia Stars of the USFL.
His NFL debut came in 1986 as a 28-year-old linebackers coach with the New Orleans Saints. Fangio was eventually promoted to defensive coordinator of the Carolina Panthers in 1995. He’s also coached for the Indianapolis Colts, Houston Texans, Baltimore Ravens, Stanford Cardinal, San Francisco 49ers, Chicago Bears, and Denver Broncos.
In his 22 seasons as a coordinator or head coach, Fangio’s defenses have ranked in the top 10 in points allowed 10 times and in the top 10 in yards allowed in nine seasons. The vast majority of his success has come since 2011, when he joined the 49ers. He was considered the “quiet mastermind” of Jim Harbaugh’s defense, and his career took off with that four-year stint.
How Long Has Vic Fangio Been the Dolphins’ Defensive Coordinator?
The 2023 campaign is Fangio’s first as the Dolphins DC. The 2018 AP NFL Assistant Coach of the Year previously spent three seasons as the Broncos head coach from 2019 through 2021. Fangio then served as a consultant for two weeks with the Philadelphia Eagles as the team prepared for Super Bowl 57.
Fangio produced a 19-30 record as the Broncos’ head coach, but his defenses were far from the problem. His defenses ranked among the NFL’s best in two of his three seasons but often struggled to overcome awful offensive units. He was so effective in Denver that new Broncos HC Sean Payton tried to get Fangio back as his defensive coordinator, but Fangio opted for Miami.
Miami was also able to beat out San Francisco in addition to Denver.
Who Was the Defensive Coordinator Before Vic Fangio?
Josh Boyer was the Dolphins’ defensive coordinator in 2022. Boyer was hired to be the team’s DC in 2020 by head coach Brian Flores. Though Flores was fired after the 2021 season, Boyer stayed on McDaniel’s staff for one year.
Boyer had successful seasons in his first two years, ranking sixth and 16th in points in 2020 and 2021, respectively. However, the 2022 season was a struggle as the Dolphins couldn’t slow down opposing passing attacks. Miami ranked 31st in passing attempts faced, 27th in yards allowed, 26th in touchdowns allowed, and 29th in interceptions.