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Vic Fangio voted 2018 Assistant Coach of the Year

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  • By Grant Gordon NFL.com
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A terrific turnaround from worst to first in the NFC North was had by the Chicago Bears in 2018.

Much of that success came due to a ferocious defense helmed by coordinator Vic Fangio. After all, it's what led to him being hired following the Bears' season as the new Denver Broncos head coach.

It's also the reason Fangio was voted the AP NFL Assistant Coach of the Year, as announced Saturday night at NFL Honors from FOX Theatre in Atlanta.

Ravaging opposing offenses to the tune of finishing first in the NFL in points per game allowed (17.7), third in total yards (299.7), first in rushing yards (80.0), third in sacks (50.0) and first in takeaways (36, including league-high 27 interceptions).

"He's a great coach; a great defensive mind," Bears safety Adrian Amos said, via the Daily Herald. "A lot of our success is due to him."

Highlighted by the likes of pass rusher Khalil Mack, cornerback Kyle Fuller, safety Eddie Jackson, defensive tackle Akiem Hicks and others, the defense led a Midway Renaissance of sorts as Chicago went 12-4 in the regular season ahead of a wild-card loss to the Philadelphia Eagles on a last-second field goal miss.

Fangio, 60, is the fifth recipient of the award (2014 was the first year the assistant's award was handed out) and the third defensive coordinator to receive it, though he is the first since Wade Phillips in 2015 with the Broncos.

Fangio's days as a DC began in 1995 with the Carolina Panthers and he would go on to hold the same position in Indianapolis, Houston, San Francisco and, of course, Chicago, in which he began his latest stint in 2015.

Now he takes some hardware with him to Denver for his first head-coaching job.

"There are few things that Vic has not seen in 40 years of coaching," Broncos general manager John Elway said in the statement regarding Fangio's hire. "He's been great on the defensive side of the ball for a number of years with a simple, detailed approach that gets results. With his intelligence and experience, Vic is as good of a football coach as you can find."

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