Crazy Like a Fox: John Elway, Denver Broncos Smart To Hire John Fox As Coach

Rich KurtzmanSenior Analyst IJanuary 13, 2011

CHARLOTTE, NC - DECEMBER 19:  Head coach John Fox of the Carolina Panthers watches on during warmups against the Arizona Cardinals at Bank of America Stadium on December 19, 2010 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

The coaching search has ended in Denver, as the Broncos announced today at 2 p.m. MT that they have hired John Fox.

John (Elway) hired John (Fox) in an intelligent football move by the football novice.

Sure, Fox doesn't seem like the glamorous choice, having headed his Panthers to the only record worse than the Broncos in 2010, but we shouldn't judge a book by its cover.

It may look warm in winter in Colorado when the sun is out, but looks can be deceiving. Last year wasn't indicative of Fox's coaching career.

Fox is the right man for the job for many reasons, and this move will strengthen the Broncos organization.

Fox has been the head coach before, having just been fired at the end of a long, and mainly successful, run in Carolina.

As the Panthers head coach, Fox took a terrible 1-15 team to 7-9 in his first year and all the way to the Super Bowl in his second season. Fox quickly rebuilt one of the worst teams in the NFL into a contender, something the Broncos desperately need.

Fox is a fantastic football mind and will be influential in his role.

The Broncos need a coach that will change the culture of their football team—Fox will.

The Broncos need a head coach that won't be afraid to stand up and challenge Elway, someone that will balance the new power structure—Fox can do it.

The Broncos need a defensive leader in Denver—Fox is an intelligent defensive mind.

For far too long the defensive side of the ball has been neglected on the Broncos—Fox will change that.

From Reeves to Shanahan and McDaniels, Bowlen loves offensive head coaches.

But his Broncos needed a shift from constantly trying to bring in big-name band aids and running through defensive coordinators annually—Fox is the shift.

In fact, Fox is just the second Bowlen-era Broncos head coach to have experience at that same position before: Dan Reeves, Wade Phillips and Josh McDaniels were all first-time head coaches in Denver, while Mike Shanahan was on his second gig.

Fox isn't a prototypical "Bowlen guy," and he likely would not have been hired if not for Elway taking the Broncos' reigns. Elway has assumed power and he's making his mark and moving the Broncos in a new direction.

The old-school Bronco is bringing new blood and fresh thoughts to the team he loves, a team whose old ways weren't formulating into wins in today's NFL.

And the credit of this hiring decision, whether good or bad, will rest on Elway's broad shoulders for sure.

With Fox's and the Broncos' success, Elway could buy himself a long time in the big office in Dove Valley.

If the internship goes really well, Elway could transition into Denver's new owner, a title he's coveted for over a decade.

But if the Broncos flow because of Fox, Elway will have bought his ticket out of Dove Valley and could tarnish his legend.

Why would he do that?

It's apparent that Elway is confident in himself and he wants to prove the doubters wrong. This hiring could be enough to do just that.

So while there's still lots of work to be done in Denver, the wheels are in motion and the John Fox era has just begun.

For the fans' sake, let's hope he's "crazy like a fox," with a focus on the football team's future.


John Fox

Fox is only 73-71 overall in his nine seasons as a head coach, but that includes two 11-5 seasons and one 12-4 year while in Carolina. Fox's career playoff record is a strong 5-3 with two NFC Championship game appearances and one win.

The Panthers won two division titles under Fox and finished second three other times.

Fox shares a special place in football history with Vince Lombardi, as they are the only two coaches to have inherited a one-win team and lead it to the to the NFL Championship game.


Big-time Broncos on Fox

John Elway said of Fox, "He is a dynamic and proven leader," just what the Broncos need in their next head coach.

Rod Smith said on twitter of Fox, "Coach Fox is going to get us out the damn hole. He's done it before."


Rich Kurtzman is a freelance journalist actively seeking a career in journalism. Along with being the CSU Rams Examiner, Kurtzman is a Denver Nuggets, Denver Broncos and NBA Featured Columnist for, the Colorado/Utah Regional Correspondent for and a weekly contributor to

Rich also heads up PR for K-Biz and Beezy, a Colorado-based rap group.

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