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Broncos agree to terms with Nathaniel Hackett as head coach


ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — The Broncos have found their next head coach.

The Broncos have agreed to terms with Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett to become the 18th head coach in franchise history, the team announced Thursday.

Following a search process that included interviews with 10 different candidates and lasted nearly three weeks, the Broncos will move forward with Hackett as the team's leader.

Hackett, 42, brings 13 years of NFL experience — including seven seasons as an offensive coordinator — with him to Denver as he assumes a head-coaching role for the first time in his career.

"Nathaniel Hackett is a dynamic leader and coach whose intelligence, innovation and charisma impressed us from the very start of this process," General Manager George Paton said in a statement. "In addition to having a brilliant offensive mind, Nathaniel is an outstanding teacher and communicator with a strong vision for all three phases of our team. 

"Getting to know Nathaniel over the last couple weeks, he will bring positive energy and enthusiasm to the entire Denver Broncos organization as our head coach. Creating a winning and competitive environment for the players, coaches and staff — and doing it through personal connections and efficiency — is a big part of his plan for the Broncos.

"From developing younger players to working with all-time greats as a key part of winning teams, Nathaniel has had tremendous success in this league. He's a student of the game and knows how to put players in positions to win. 

"I could not be more excited to partner with Nathaniel and welcome him along with his family — his wife, Megan, and children Harrison, London, Briar and Everly — to the Denver Broncos."

The Broncos' new head coach spent the last three seasons in Green Bay, where he helped the Packers post a top-10 scoring offense in each of the past two seasons. The Packers led the league in scoring in 2020 as Aaron Rodgers earned MVP honors, and they have ranked in the top two in giveaways in each of the three seasons Hackett spent in Green Bay. Four Packers have earned a combined six first-team All-Pro selections over the last two seasons, as Green Bay earned the No. 1 seed in the NFC in both 2020 and 2021.

Prior to his time with the Packers, Hackett had a four-year stint in Jacksonville, where he began as the team's quarterbacks coach in 2015. He was promoted to interim offensive coordinator in 2016 and served as offensive coordinator in 2017 and 2018. During the 2017 season, Hackett helped a Blake Bortles-led offense to the fifth-most points in the league and the NFL's top rushing attack. The Jaguars advanced to the AFC Championship game during the 2017 campaign.

Hackett began his NFL coaching career as an offensive quality control coach for the Buccaneers (2006-07) and Bills (2008-09) before he was hired as the quarterbacks/tight ends coach for Syracuse University. Hackett then served as offensive coordinator for the Orange from 2011-12 before he returned to the pro ranks in 2013 as the Bills' offensive coordinator.

In Hackett's seven seasons as an NFL offensive coordinator — not including his stint in 2016 as Jackonsville's interim offensive coordinator — his teams have ranked in the top 10 in total offense and scoring offense on three occasions.

The son of former NFL coach Paul Hackett, the younger Hackett grew up around the game before playing collegiate football at the University of California, Davis.

In Denver, Hackett will be tasked with helping the Broncos return to the postseason for their first time since their Super Bowl 50 win. While in Jacksonville, Hackett helped the Jaguars break a nine-year playoff drought, as the team's march to the AFC Championship in 2017 was their first playoff appearance since 2007.

Paton and the Broncos' search committee first interviewed Hackett in Green Bay on Jan. 15, and he visited UCHealth Training Center on Jan. 24 for a second interview and to meet executives throughout the organization. Hackett was the lone candidate to travel to Denver for an interview.

The Broncos also interviewed Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn, Packers quarterbacks coach Luke Getsy, Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore, Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, Patriots inside linebackers coach Jerod Mayo, Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon, Bengals offensive coordinator Brian Callahan, Rams offensive coordinator Kevin O'Connell and Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy.

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