ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Former Broncos defensive coordinator Greg Robinson, who served in that position for the team's back-to-back Super Bowl victories, has passed away, his family announced Wednesday.
He was 70.
Robinson was a coach at the NFL or collegiate ranks for more than three decades, including a six-year stint in Denver from 1995-2000.
Born in Los Angeles, Robinson played college football at Bakersfield College and University of Pacific before beginning his coaching career at the latter school. After 15 seasons as a college coach at Pacific, Cal State Fullerton, NC State and UCLA, Robinson made the leap to the pros in 1993 as a defensive line coach for the Jets.
The following year, after Pete Carroll was promoted from defensive coordinator to head coach, Robinson was tabbed for Carroll's vacated role. In his lone season as New York's defensive coordinator before the Jets again decided to make a full-scale coaching overhaul, Robinson's defense ranked 14th in scoring defense and tied for second in takeaways.
After the Broncos hired Mike Shanahan in 1995 to be their new head coach, he decided to bring Robinson aboard to lead Denver's defense with an emphasis on takeaways and creating pressure.
"We will get pressure on the quarterback," Robinson said. "We will create problems for quarterbacks. It's only a matter of how we're going to get it done."
As the team rounded into form in 1996, so too did Robinson's defense. The group ranked No. 1 in rushing defense, fourth in total defense, seventh in scoring defense and fourth in interceptions. It also moved into the top 10 in sacks, which would be a standard the team would meet in each of his remaining seasons in Denver.
The following season, as Denver mounted its first Super Bowl campaign, Denver's defense was again formidable, allowing the fifth-fewest points. That included one shutout and three games allowing just three points — one against the Raiders, Chargers and Chiefs. En route to a Super Bowl XXXII victory, the Broncos held four top-10 scoring offenses below their season average, including a 10-point effort against the Chiefs' fifth-ranked offense at Arrowhead.
In 1998, the Broncos won a second consecutive championship behind a historic offense and an exceptional defense. During Denver's three-game postseason run, Robinson's group was again outstanding. The defense held Dan Marino to just three points; the fifth-ranked Jets offense to just 10 points; and the fourth-ranked Falcons offense to just 13 points.
"We've got a lot of great players on defense, too," Robinson said after the back-to-back title victory. "I'm so proud of the way they played over the last month. They came up big.
"It's great players. They make good schemes, believe me."
After his time in Denver came to an end, Robinson spent three more seasons in the NFL with the Chiefs before returning to the college level. He was the defensive coordinator on Texas' 2004 Rose Bowl championship team, head coach at Syracuse from 2005-08 and he then spent time at Michigan, Texas and San Jose State before retiring in 2015.