ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — As the Broncos head into the regular season, Head Coach Vic Fangio announced Saturday that Emily Zaler, one of the team's Bill Walsh Diversity Coaching Fellows, will remain with the team and join the coaching staff as a full-time coach under contract.
Zaler, who will continue to work as part of the strength and conditioning staff, is the franchise's first female full-time coach.
"We're going to keep her around throughout the season," Fangio said. "She did a really nice job here. She's knowledgeable, very passionate about strength and conditioning aspect. We're happy to have her, and we're going to keep her on for the entire season."
Prior to joining the Broncos beginning in the summer, the Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist worked with the New York Knicks as a seasonal assistant during the 2019-20 season until the league was forced to halt the regular season because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"When our season unexpectedly got cut short back in March, I saw it as an opportunity to take action and gain experience in a second professional sport," Zaler said in August. "It's always been a dream of mine to coach within the NFL, and I heard about the Bill Walsh Coaching Fellowship, sent in my application and I reached out to [Head Strength and Conditioning] Coach [Loren] Landow, Coach Fangio and Mr. [John] Elway, as being part of the Denver Broncos organization has always been a dream of mine."
During the acclimation period and training camp, Zaler assisted Head Strength and Conditioning Coach Loren Landow and the department on the field and in the weight room by helping conduct the acclimation workouts, the warm-up sessions to start practice during camp and workouts in the gym.
"It's been a wonderful experience and opportunity to coach in the NFL," Zaler said, "and I'm really appreciative for Mr. Elway, Coach Fangio and Coach Landow for the opportunity to be here."
In August, Zaler also discussed her hope that the opportunity will help open the door for other women to coach in the NFL. As a new member of the Broncos' coaching staff, she'll likely have that chance.
"Over the last decade, I've been told more times than I can count that I would never have the opportunity to work in the NFL or the NBA because I'm a woman, and there are a handful of women who have led the way for me that have had the opportunity and shown me that it is possible," Zaler said. "I hope to do the same for the next generation of female strength and conditioning coaches who want to work in an elite male sport."