Coaches & Assistants

Vic Fangio
Defensive Coordinator

Biography

Vic Fangio is in his third season as Chicago's defensive coordinator after being hired by the Bears on January 20, 2015.

This is his 31st year in the NFL and his 18th season as an NFL defensive coordinator.

After inheriting a defense that had ranked 30th in total defense in 2013 and 2014, the Bears finished 14th and 15th in 2015 and 2016, respectively. The Bears also ranked in the top 10 in the NFL in fewest yards after the catch (second), passing yards allowed per game (seventh) and sacks per pass attempt (eighth). The Monsters of the Midway were one of three teams to have three players record at least 7 sacks this season (Willie Young - 7.5; Leonard Floyd - 7.0; Akiem Hicks - 7.0) and the only team to have...

Vic Fangio is in his third season as Chicago's defensive coordinator after being hired by the Bears on January 20, 2015.

This is his 31st year in the NFL and his 18th season as an NFL defensive coordinator.

After inheriting a defense that had ranked 30th in total defense in 2013 and 2014, the Bears finished 14th and 15th in 2015 and 2016, respectively. The Bears also ranked in the top 10 in the NFL in fewest yards after the catch (second), passing yards allowed per game (seventh) and sacks per pass attempt (eighth). The Monsters of the Midway were one of three teams to have three players record at least 7 sacks this season (Willie Young - 7.5; Leonard Floyd - 7.0; Akiem Hicks - 7.0) and the only team to have at least two rookies score defensive touchdowns (Leonard Floyd, at GB 10/20; Cre'Von LeBlanc, at DET 12/11).

Prior to coming to Chicago, Fangio spent four seasons (2011-14) as defensive coordinator for the San Francisco 49ers. During his four seasons overseeing San Francisco's defense, the 49ers were second in the NFL in scoring defense (17.4 points per game), third in total defense (310.2 yards per game) and fourth in takeaways (122). The 49ers had the top run defense (92.0 ypg) and allowed the second-lowest yards per carry (3.78). Their pass defense was sixth in the NFL during that time (218.2 ypg) while allowing the second-lowest opponent passer rating (76.8). The 49ers defense also led the NFL in fewest first downs allowed (1,143) and were tied for sixth in 20+ yard touchdowns allowed (33).

The 49ers defense ranked in the top five in total defense in each of Fangio's four seasons with the team (fourth in 2011, third in 2012, fifth in 2013 and 2014) and in the top 10 in scoring defense all four seasons (second in 2011 and 2012, third in 2013 and tenth in 2014). The 49ers were one of only three teams in the NFL to have at least 25 takeaways in each of those four seasons.

In 2014, Fangio led San Francisco's defense to the fourth best NFL ranking in opponent passer rating (79.5) while leading the league in interceptions (23) and tying for fourth in total takeaways (29). Their passing defense was fifth in the NFL allowing 220.7 yards per game.

In 2013, the 49ers ranked fourth in opponents quarterback rating (76.4) and rushing yards allowed (95.9 ypg), and fifth in total defense (316.9 ypg).

In 2012, Fangio led a 49ers defensive unit that ranked second in the NFL in first downs allowed (284), tied for third in third down defense (33.0 pct.) and fourth in both rush defense (94.2 yards per game) and pass defense (200.2 yards per game). San Francisco was one of two teams in the NFL to rank in the top five in all six categories, including scoring defense and total defense.

In 2011, the 49ers defense led the NFL in rushing defense (77.3 ypg) and tied for league-lead with 38 takeaways. Fangio's defense established an NFL record by not allowing a rushing touchdown through the first 14 games of the season and allowed just three rushing touchdowns all season, the fewest allowed since the 16-game schedule was introduced in 1978. The 49ers defense was also fifth in the NFL in opposing quarterback rating (73.6), second in first downs allowed (267) and fourth in red zone defense (41.2 pct.).

As a defensive coordinator, prior to his stint with San Francisco, Fangio has directed defensive units that have led the NFL or ranked among the top three teams in seven or more major statistical categories.

In 2010, Fangio was the defensive coordinator at Stanford. Stanford finished the year ranked 10th in scoring defense (17.4 points/game), 11th in sacks (36), 16th in passing defensive efficiency (112.79), 19th in rushing defense (120.8 yards/game), tied-for-19th in interceptions (18) and 21st in total defense (322.8 yards/game) after ranking 90th overall as a unit in 2009, a year prior to his arrival. He was named college football's Defensive Coordinator of the Year by Footballscoop.com and other media outlets. Within the Pac-10 Conference, the Cardinal improved from 8th to 1st in both scoring defense and sacks, while moving from 9th to 2nd in takeaways and yards allowed. Stanford posted three Pac-10 shutouts on the year; marking the first time the Cardinals had held opponents scoreless in three contests in a single season.

Fangio was a special assistant to the head coach with the Baltimore Ravens from 2006-09, adding the title of linebackers coach in 2009. From 2006-09, the Ravens led the NFL in scoring defense (17.0 ppg) and opponent passer rating (70.6), were second in total defense (281.8 ypg) and tied for second in takeaways (129). They were also second in the league in rushing defense (82.4 ypg) including tops in yards per carry allowed (3.27), sixth in passing defense (199.4 ypg) and eighth in sacks (158).

Prior to joining Baltimore, Fangio spent four seasons (2002-05) as the defensive coordinator of the Houston Texans. Houston had eight interception return touchdowns and four fumble return touchdowns during that time. The Texans 22 interceptions in 2004, still stands as a team record.

Fangio also served as an NFL defensive coordinator with the Indianapolis Colts (1999-2001) and Carolina Panthers (1995-98). The Panthers ranked 10th in the NFL in scoring defense (19.8) and opponent passer rating (74.4) and sixth in takeaways (130) during Fangio's time with the team, despite the club being an expansion franchise. In 1996, the Panthers won the NFC West and reached the NFC Championship game in just their second year of existence, as Carolina's defense topped the NFL in sacks (60, a franchise record that still stands today) and finished second in the league in scoring defense (13.6 ppg) and seventh in opponent passer rating (68.7). Carolina also yielded just five touchdowns and 56 points in the second half of games for the entire season, breaking an NFL record set by the 1985 Chicago Bears that still stands today.

Fangio came to Carolina from New Orleans where he spent nine seasons as the linebackers coach of the Saints (1986-94). Fangio coached the heralded "Dome Patrol," which included All-Pro linebackers Rickey Jackson, Vaughan Johnson, Sam Mills and Pat Swilling. The group was the only linebacking unit from one team voted to the Pro Bowl on the first ballot (1992) and was later voted the best linebacking corps in league history by NFL Network. Fangio and the linebackers helped the Saints to four postseason appearances, including their first-ever playoff appearance (1987) and first-ever division title (1991).

Fangio came to the NFL after two seasons as a defensive assistant of the USFL's Philadelphia/Baltimore Stars (1984-85), winning back-to-back league championships with the team. He served as a graduate assistant at North Carolina in 1983 after serving as the defensive coordinator at Milford (Conn.) Academy in 1982.

He got his coaching start in 1979 at his alma mater, Dunmore (Pa.) High School, serving as a linebackers coach before being promoted to defensive coordinator in 1980.

Fangio, who attended East Stroudsburg University, was inducted into the Northeast Pennsylvania Hall of Fame in 1993. He has a son, Christian, and a daughter, Cassie.

Recent Articles

  • 5 things we learned from Vic Fangio

    Posted Sep 14, 2017

    Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio tackled several topics Thursday during his weekly press conference, including his thoughts on linebacker Nick Kwiatkowski and cornerback Kyle Fuller.

  • Fangio seeking players with ball skills

    Posted Jan 25, 2017

    While he's coaching the North team defense this week at the Senior Bowl, Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio is looking for prospects who possess a knack for making plays on the ball.

  • Fangio looking for defense to improve

    Posted Sep 28, 2016

    Injuries have forced the Bears to rely on several young players on defense, but coordinator Vic Fangio still expects the unit to perform better than it did last Sunday night in Dallas.

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