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Legendary Broncos Coach Joe Collier, Who Created The ‘Orange Crush Defense,’ Dead at 91

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Joe Collier from Nova Nexus Youtube channel

Legendary NFL coach Joe Collier, best known for creating the Denver Broncos’ famed Orange Crush defense that led the team to three Super Bowls, passed away this week at the age of 91.

Before his tenure as a decorated coach, Collier was a star athlete. He set the Big Ten Conference record for touchdown passes and receiving yards while playing for Northwestern University in 1952.

Following his success in collegiate football, Collier was drafted by the New York Giants but ultimately decided not to play. Instead, he served in the United States Army. After a brief stint in the Army, Joe got into coaching.

In 1962, Joe joined the Buffalo Bills as a defensive coach but was promoted to the head coach position in 1966. In his first season as a head coach, Collier led his team to a 9-4-1 record but was let go from the team in 1968 after a poor start to the season.

After his time with the Buffalo Bills, Collier became a defensive coach for the Denver Broncos, where he remained for the next twenty years. During his time with the Broncos, Joe constructed the famed Orange Crush defense, which consisted of a 3-4 defense. Throughout his time there, Collier served in several coaching positions, and the team reached three Super Bowls with the assistance of Collier’s defense.

The Denver Broncos released a statement to their Twitter following Collier’s passing.

After coaching the Broncos for almost twenty years, Collier was fired in 1988. Shortly after, Joe was hired as a defensive coordinator by the New England Patriots, where he coached for one final year as a head coach before being fired in 1992.

Following his firing from the New England Patriots, Collier retired from the National Football League after his thirty-yearcareer as a coach.

Rest in peace!

Joe Collier from Nova Nexus Youtube channel
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