ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- On Friday, the Oakland Raiders announced that they have hired former Broncos Defensive Coordinator Dennis Allen as the club's new head coach.
"I couldn't be happier for Dennis with his new opportunity to become head coach of the Raiders," Head Coach John Fox said. "He did a terrific job as our defensive coordinator, and I am not surprised that people around the NFL took notice of the role he played in our success. He's a sharp guy who knows football, has a way of relating to his players and carries himself very well. Dennis is a strong motivator and teacher with an aggressive style of coaching. He will approach the job with tremendous energy and passion to get the most out of his team. His thorough understanding of defense, from the back to the front, and his ability to teach fundamentally and assignment-wise really helped us get better. He's been around a lot of good people during his NFL career and has a very bright future ahead of him."
Allen is the 16th assistant coach in Broncos history to be hired as an NFL head coach.
Under Allen, the Broncos defense improved in 2011, and sent four players to the Pro Bowl.
One of the defenders in Hawaii for the all-star game, Brian Dawkins, shared his thoughts on the possibility of Allen leaving at the conclusion of the regular season.
"Selfishly, I want him to stay here," Dawkins said. "But if he gets a chance for a head coaching job, there's no way anybody -- I know I wouldn't tell him not to take that. That's his dream."
At his end-of-season press conference, Fox said that assistant coaches getting head coaching opportunities "speaks for what this organization has accomplished this season."
Fox said it's now his job, just like it was entering the 2011 season as the Broncos' new head coach, to find the team's next defensive coordinator.
"I think anytime you win, it is a tribute to that success that you are going to lose coaches, and you've got to find good replacements," he said.
"I am thrilled for Dennis, his wife Alisson and the entire Allen family, and I wish them all the best in Oakland."