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Broncos hire Ed Donatell again, this time as defensive coordinator

Longtime NFL coach had been a Broncos secondary coach twice before
Credit: Getty Images
ENGLEWOOD, CO - CIRCA 2010: In this photo provided by the NFL, Ed Donatell of the Denver Broncos poses for his 2010 NFL headshot circa 2010 in Englewood, Colorado. (Photo by NFL via Getty Images)

KUSA – Ed Donatell helped coached Broncos defensive backs at the beginning of the Mike Shanahan era.

Donatell came back to Denver for the end of Josh McDaniels.

And now Donatell will make one more trip back to Broncos headquarters to help usher in the new term his good friend Vic Fangio.

The Broncos have reached agreement with Donatell to be their next defensive coordinator, a source told 9News.

Donatell, who turns 62 in three weeks, began his interview with the Broncos  Tuesday. The Bears tried to retain Donatell as a defensive backs coach, but after the team opted instead to have Chuck Pagano replace Fangio as defensive coordinator, Donatell returned to Denver where a promotion was waiting.

It should be noted that Fangio will still call defensive plays on game day, but he and Donatell will share in the weekly game planning.

A native of Stow, Ohio, Donatell is about to enter his 40th season as a football coach, 28th in the NFL. He has spent the bulk of his career coaching defensive backs although he has eight seasons of defensive coordinator experience with Green Bay, Atlanta and Washington.

He is known as a cerebral, energetic coach who finds opposing tendencies that helps his players on game days.

Donatell was the Broncos’ defensive backs coach from 1995-99, a mostly successful period that helped him land his first coordinator position with Green Bay in 2000. He lost his job after the 2003 season when the Packers’ secondary surrendered a devastating fourth-and-26 conversion to Philadelphia quarterback Donovan McNabb in a second-round playoff game.

Bouncing around from there, Donatell returned for the Broncos’ unfortunate, 4-12 season of 2010 season in which McDaniels was fired with four games remaining. The past eight seasons, Donatell has been Fangio’s secondary coach when Fangio was defensive coordinator for San Francisco and Chicago. And now Donatell and Fangio will work together a while longer.

Donatell and his wife Shari have three children, Brenna, Tommy and Stevie all of whom spent parts of their youth growing up in the Denver area. Tom and Steve were fine football players in their own right and are now coaching – Tom with the Seattle Seahawks and Steve with the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga.