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T.C. McCartney, son of late CU QB Sal Aunese, is Broncos' new QB coach

McCartney spent two seasons on 49ers staff with Broncos new offensive coordinator Rich Scangarello
Credit: San Francisco 49ers

KUSA – The legacy from one of the most inspiring players in Colorado football history is joining the Broncos’ coaching staff.

T.C. McCartney, the son of Sal Aunese and Kristy McCartney and the grandson of former University of Colorado coaching icon Bill McCartney, has reached agreement to become the Denver Broncos’ new quarterbacks coach position, a source told 9news.

"I am thrilled by the news,'' Bill McCartney said in a statement. "Ever since TC was young, he expressed his desire that someday he wanted to be a coach. This is another step in his ultimate goal to one day become a head coach.

"TC started at the ground level and worked his way up. He earned this because of his work ethic and how he has become a total student of the game.

"I knew I wanted to be a coach by the time I was seven years old ... TC's career path has mirrored that. This opportunity is a testimony to his hard work and dedication to the profession.''

9News was also the first to report the Broncos have hired former Wagner offensive coordinator Rob Calabrese as their new offensive assistant. McCartney and Calabrese had previously worked under Rich Scangarello, the Broncos' new offensive coordinator.

Aunese was the Colorado Buffaloes’ starting quarterback in 1987-88, before he was diagnosed with inoperable stomach cancer in the spring of 1989. He became an inspiration to the CU Buffs’ football team that started 11-0 behind coach Bill McCartney and Aunese’s replacement, sophomore quarterback Darian Hagan, before losing the national championship game to Notre Dame in the Orange Bowl.

Timothy Chase “T.C.” McCartney was born April 24, 1989; his father died five months later on September 23, 1989. T.C. graduated from Boulder Fairview High School – where his uncle Tom McCartney was his football coach -- in 2007.

T.C. then went to LSU where he was a reserve quarterback for head coach Les Miles, before starting his coaching career in 2012 as a CU Buff offensive graduate assistant.

He spent the past two years as an offensive assistant on Kyle Shanahan’s staff with the San Francisco 49ers. Scangarello spent the past two seasons as the 49ers’ quarterbacks coach. McCartney also worked the 2014 season with the Cleveland Browns when Shanahan was their offensive coordinator.

So McCartney has three years experience of working in the Shanahan offensive system. Meanwhile, before Scangarello became San Francisco's quarterbacks' coach, he spent the 2016 season serving as Wagner's offensive coordinator.

Calabrese was his running backs coach that season. When Scangarello left for the 49ers, Calabrese became Wagner's offensive coordinator the next two seasons.

So after flirting with Mike Shanahan and Gary Kubiak in the past year, the Broncos wound up with their same offensive system -- they got younger instructors to implement it.

Fresh minds and new blood do come with the risk of inexperience. Bill Musgrave and Mike Sullivan, the Broncos' offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, respectively in 2018, had a combined 28 years of NFL experience in those roles. Scangarello and McCartney have a combined 2 years of NFL experience at the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks positions.

The Broncos have also hired Nathaniel Willingham as their defensive quality control coach. Willingham had worked the past four seasons with Stanford, where his father, Tyrone Willingham was the Cardinal head coach from 1995-2001.   

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