Vic Fangio leaves Dolphins: Why defensive coordinator is departing Miami, expected to join Eagles

The Dolphins made a major splash in early February 2023 when they landed former Broncos head coach Vic Fangio as their defensive coordinator. They inked him to a three-year contract worth more than $4.5 million per year.

Less than a year later, Fangio is leaving the Dolphins and is reportedly expected to join the Eagles as the next defensive coordinator in Philadelphia.

Fangio’s defenses have long garnered praise, and that was the case again in Miami. The Dolphins allowed the 10th-fewest yards per game in 2023 and were one of just eight NFL defenses to rank above average in both rushing EPA (expected points added) per play and passing EPA per play. The unit ranked as the 15th-best defense in 2023 overall.

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The defensive success came in spite of a wave of injuries, which included key cogs Jalen Ramsey, Jevon Holland, Jerome Baker, Bradley Chubb, Jaelan Phillips and Andrew Van Ginkel landing on injured reserve at some point during the campaign.

“I want to thank Vic for his contributions in 2023,” Miami head coach Mike McDaniel said in a statement. “When we assessed the season, it became apparent that this was the best path forward for all parties involved.

“Now, we turn our focus to 2024 and beyond with urgency as we identify the best candidate to lead our defense moving forward. We remain steadfastly committed to the development of our players and to building a winning team with sustained success.”

Why is Vic Fangio leaving the Dolphins?

The news that Fangio would be leaving Miami came in the same report that stated he is expected to be hired by the Eagles. Fangio wants to be closer to his family in Pennsylvania, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported.

The split largely came down to Fangio, Fox Sports’ Armando Salguero reported. The 65-year-old not only would be closer to family but also would feel more comfortable as the defensive coordinator of the Eagles, per Salguero.

Philadelphia had a season of tumult at defensive coordinator. Sean Desai came on as the defensive coordinator in 2023 to replace Jonathan Gannon, who left to become the Cardinals’ head coach. In mid-December, Desai was removed as the defensive play-caller and replaced by Matt Patricia. Desai was fired at the end of the season and Patricia’s contract expired, leaving him out of a job.

Where is Vic Fangio from?

Fangio was born and raised in Dunmore, Penn., a town that is in the northeastern part of the state. He went to East Stroudsburg University, which is in East Stroudsburg, which is north of Philadelphia and east of Dunmore.

Fangio has spoken often of his love for Philadelphia sports. In 2022, he told The Athletic he doesn’t sleep at night “until I know whether the Phillies won or lost … Even if they’re on the West Coast.”

He took his first job coaching linebackers at his high school before he became the defensive coordinator. From 1984-85, he was a defensive assistant for the Philadelphia Stars (1984) and Baltimore Stars (1985), a USFL team.

Since then, his coaching career has bounced him around different locations before he was brought on by the Eagles as a defensive consultant in 2022.

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