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Broncos name Pete Carmichael as Senior Offensive Assistant, Jim Leonhard as Defensive Pass Game Coordinator/Defensive Backs


ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — The Broncos have added a pair of coaches to their staff.

Denver named Pete Carmichael as Senior Offensive Assistant and Jim Leonhard as Defensive Pass Game Coordinator/Defensive Backs, the Broncos announced Wednesday.

Carmichael spent the last 15 seasons as the Saints' offensive coordinator, a role in which he spent 12 years alongside Broncos Head Coach Sean Payton.

A 30-year coaching veteran, Carmichael held play-calling duties in 2012, 2022 and 2023. In his final season with the Saints, his offense ranked ninth in points per game and 14th in total offense.

From 2009-17, Carmichael helped the Saints to top-five offenses in eight seasons, according to Pro Football Reference. The Saints also posted a top-five scoring offense in eight of Carmichael's 15 seasons.

New Orleans' 14 consecutive seasons in the top 10 of total offense remains the third-longest streak since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger.

The Saints also produced seven first-team AP All-Pros during Carmichael's tenure.

Carmichael originally joined Payton's staff as the quarterbacks coach in 2006 before adding passing game responsibilities in 2007. He assumed the offensive coordinator role in 2009.

Before New Orleans, Carmichael worked with Drew Brees in San Diego as an offensive assistant from 2002-05. He also has NFL experience with Cleveland in 2000 (tight ends coach) and Washington in 2001 (quality control).

Carmichael began his coaching career in 1994 at New Hampshire as an assistant offensive line coach before guiding the quarterbacks at Louisiana Tech from 1995-99.

Leonhard, meanwhile, returns to Denver after playing 16 games at defensive back for the Broncos in 2012. The Wisconsin product spent a year with Denver during a 10-year playing career that also included stints with the Bills, Jets, Ravens and Browns.

Leonhard joined Wisconsin's coaching staff in 2016 as the team's defensive backs coach, and he quickly was promoted to the team's defensive coordinator in 2017. In his first season as defensive coordinator, Leonhard was a finalist for the Broyles Award, which is presented to the nation's top assistant coach. During his six years as the Badgers' defensive coordinator, Leonhard consistently produced some of the top units in the country.

In Leonhard's six seasons guiding the defense, the Badgers ranked in the top five in the nation in total defense and in the top 10 in scoring defense on four occasions.

Leonhard assumed Wisconsin's interim head coaching duties in October of 2022 before joining Illinois as a Senior Football Analyst for the 2023 season.

Across the duration of his tenure as defensive coordinator, Leonhard's teams ranked among the best Power Five teams in scoring defense, yards allowed, pass efficiency, rushing defense, third-down conversion rate and takeaways.

Leonhard initially joined Wisconsin in 2001 as a walk-on and became a three-time first-team All-American. He was inducted into Wisconsin's Athletic Hall of Fame in 2015.

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