Dunmore’s Vic Fangio Named New Head Coach of Denver Broncos

By Steve Svetovich

Patience and long hours of hard work pay off. Dunmore’s Victor Fangio, 60, is living proof. And for the 1976 Dunmore High School graduate it took 40 years.

That’s 40 years of coaching experience that finally took him to the top of the helm.

Son of Alice and the late Victor, Sr., Fangio, the former Dunmore High School safety-wide receiver was named head football coach of the NFL Denver Broncos last month (January 10).

His mom, the former Alice Kozlowski, 92 and very spry, continues to reside in Dunmore. And her reaction?

“Well, I was thrilled for him,” she said. “He was finally recognized. He can do the job. And the Denver Broncos recognize it.”

Fangio, who played football at Dunmore under the legendary Jack Henzes, is known as a man of stature but of few words.

So it is not surprising to hear how he provided the news to his mom. “He called me after the word got out,” she said. “He said he got the appointment. And that was about it. He does not show any emotion. He is not that type.

“A lot of people in Dunmore called with their congratulations.

“I am just sorry his father was not here to see this. It has been a long road.”

The mother of the new Denver Broncos head football coach has four sons, one daughter, 20 grandchildren and two on the way.

One of Fangio’s brothers, Tony, is retired and lives in Colorado Springs just one hour from Denver, Colorado. “He will be close enough to see Vic a lot. I hope to get there to a game myself during the warmer weather.”

Fangio returns to Dunmore occasionally in the off season and gathers with friends often at Ragnacci’s Restaurant in the borough, said his mom.

“His friends are proud of him. He has many of the same friends he always had in Dunmore. I am getting a lot of calls from them.”

Former Dunmore Councilman Paul Nardozzi roots for the New York Giants, but is a huge football fan who knows Fangio and follows his career. “I’ve known him for many years and he is so deserving of that position,” he said. “It took a lot of years of hard work and perserverance. Being from Dunmore, he truly displays Dunmore pride. I am very happy for Vic.”

bucksAfter playing football and graduating from Dunmore in 1976, Fangio was a defensive coordinator and linebackers coach under Henzes at his alma mater from 1979 to 1981.

He took on a position as defensive coordinator at Milford Academy in Connecticut in 1982.

In 1984, he was defensive assistant for the Philadelphia/Baltimore Stars of the USFL.

He received a big break in the NFL coaching ranks when he was named linebackers coach for the New Orleans Saints in 1986, holding the position through 1994.

He was the Carolina Panthers defensive coordinator from 1995 to 1998.

Fangio was the Indianapolis Colts defensive coordinator from 1999 to 2001.

He became the Houston Texans defensive coordinator from 2002 to 2005.

Fangio became special assistant to the head coach and defensive assistant for the Baltimore Ravens from 2006 to 2008.

He became the Ravens linebackers coach in 2009.

He became defensive coordinator under Jim Harbaugh at Stanford University in 2010.

He followed Harbaugh to the San Francisco 49ers in 2011 when Harbaugh became head coach there. Fangio served as defensive coordinator under Harbaugh from 2011 to 2014.

The 49ers under the coaching of Harbaugh and Fangio, led the NFL in forced turnovers (36) in 2011.

Vic Fangio with BearsFangio was released from his contract shortly after Harbaugh was let go by the 49ers in January of 2015.

Fangio then took over as defensive coordinator for the Chicago Bears from 2015 to 2018.

Fangio’s coaching helped the Bears lead the NFL in forced turnovers and interceptions this past year. The Bears were second defensively in yards per play, first in scoring defense and third in total defense.

Fangio, who was interviewed last year for the Bears head coaching position, received much of the credit for Chicago’s defensive resurgence this past season.

He was honored last month by the Pro Football Writers Association as the NFL Assistant Coach of the Year.

And now off to Denver as he continues making his mom and Dunmore proud.

McGloin Signs Deal with Eagles; Recognized by Commissioners

Matt McGloin proclamation photo

The Lackawanna County Commissioners and community leaders presented a proclamation to Matt McGloin in recognition of his success on the gridiron.

The former Penn State quarterback and Scranton native recently signed a one-year deal with the Philadelphia Eagles.  His four-year NFL career spans several milestones with the Oakland Raiders.

Shown from left: Lackawanna County Judge Thomas Munley, Atty. Terry Gallagher, Commissioner Laureen A. Cummings, Mr. McGloin, Commissioner Patrick M. O’Malley and Jack Lyons, West Scranton head basketball coach.

 

Tim Ruddy Reflects on Life After the NFL

By Patrick Schuster

*Originally published on Football Dialogue.*

(Credit: Football Dialogue)

(Credit: Patrick Schuster, Football Dialogue)

As the leaves slowly start to change in northeastern Pennsylvania, you can listen close on most Friday nights and hear the cheers from local high school football stadiums across the county as students, parents and alumni all gather to root for this year’s teams.   One former local football star is my former Dunmore High School classmate and good friend Tim Ruddy, who took what he learned from his parents, family, and teachers to the professional level in the National Football League.

Recently, I had the chance to check in on Tim and see how life has been treating him since his days with the Miami Dolphins ended in 2003.

***

Patrick Schuster: Since the NFL fans last saw you on a field, what have you been up to?

Tim Ruddy: Currently, I am the CEO of Vista International Technologies, Inc., a small renewable energy company specializing in tire recycling and gasification.

PS: What has been the biggest adjustment since your career ended?

TR: If I get mad at someone, I can’t hit them, or I will go to jailor worse, be shamed in social media.

PS: What is your fondest memory from your days in college or the NFL?

TR: Tough to pick just one. A lot of the playoff and bowl victories were special. When Notre Dame won the Cotton Bowl in 1994, it was particularly special because we thought we had a shot at the national championship. Instead, it went to Florida State, whom we had beaten head to head a few weeks earlier. I think that scenario was one of the “final straws” that made the NCAA move to the BCS [Bowl Championship Series] system.

Lou Holtz with the captains of his 11-1 Notre Dame team in 1993: Jeff Burris (9), Bryant Young (97), Aaron Taylor (75) and Tim Ruddy (61). (Credit: http://notredame.247sports.com/)

Lou Holtz with the captains of his 11-1 Notre Dame team in 1993: Jeff Burris (9), Bryant Young (97), Aaron Taylor (75) and Tim Ruddy (61). (Credit: http://notredame.247sports.com/)

PS: Have you had the chance to go back to Notre Dame to see a game?

TR: I went back for the spring game once, but not a regular season game.

PS: What are your thoughts on players like Patrick Willis, Chris Borland, Jake Locker and Jason Worlids walking away from the NFL?

TR: To each his own. Everything has risks, football included. You have to make a decision as far as risk versus reward. I believe that some players are much more susceptible to brain injury than others, just as people have different bone structure, muscle density… However, it would seem to me that the time to quit would have been when you were in high school. By the time you get to the NFL, a lot of the damage is already done. In addition, with the lack of two a day practices and the NFL coming down on vicious hits, the NFL is “safer” now than it’s been in years. I don’t think all the science is in yet, either.

PS: As a player who always excelled in the classroom as well as the football field, how were you able to balance school work with your football life during your playing days?

TR: No real secrets. It was a lot of hard work and dedication to both areas, but obviously it can be done. I give a lot of credit to my parents and siblingsand the coaches and teachers I had along the way.

PS: Take me back to your draft day. What is the one memory you have of that day, and what advice would you give any players waiting for that call this spring?

TR: I actually had an engineering project due the next day, so I was working from my dorm room. I didn’t get drafted until almost midnight on the first night, so there was considerable time to wait. As far as advice to a potential draft pick, at that point all the data is in, and the teams have made up their mind on who they like, right or wrong. It’s important to be grateful to be in that position and to enjoy the process.

PS: From the outside now, what would you say has been the biggest change in the NFL since your career ended?

TR: The league has been hollowed out considerably, with teams having a few (10-15) stars, and then trying to fill in the remaining roster spots with lesser, often subpar players, to get under the cap. This started when I was in the league but has gotten worse since I left. Because of this, protecting those “stars” has become priority number one, hence the series of rule changes making most vicious hits illegal.

PS: Knowing you as well I do, I am betting the answer is no, but have you joined the social media world?

TR: No, I don’t do social media. I don’t have the time, and I’m not all that “social” to begin with.

Tim Ruddy (61). (Credit: Amazon.com)

Tim Ruddy (61). (Credit: Amazon.com)

PS: Some former teammates have gotten into broadcasting and coaching. Do you have any thoughts of entering either of those worlds?

TR: Not really, I like coaching kids and helping them learn. As far as broadcasting, I definitely have a face for radio, so that limits my prospects in broadcasting. Although I guess that hasn’t stopped Willie McGinest. (Just kidding there.)

PS: Best advice you ever received during your playing days?

TR: Find a good fight, and get in it.

PS: You were known for your being a workout guy, especially weight lifting. Still hitting the gym and showing the younger guys how it’s done?

TR: I try, but at this point in life, the years are not my friends.

***

Tim played college at the University of Notre Dame, and his entire NFL career with the Miami Dolphins, but was not satisfied with just sitting around feeling like life was over just because his football days were done. Tim is a prime example of the countless players who have moved on after years in the league to become valued contributing members of society.

Interested in reading more interviews? Check out www.footballdialogue.net.