Rick Dennison
No. 55
Position:Linebacker
Personal information
Born: (1958-06-22) June 22, 1958 (age 64)
Kalispell, Montana
Height:6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Weight:220 lb (100 kg)
Career information
High school:Fort Collins (CO) Rocky Mountain
College:Colorado State
Undrafted:1982
Career history
As a player:
As a coach:
Career highlights and awards
As coach
Career NFL statistics
Games played:128
Quarterback sacks:6.5
Interceptions:4
Player stats at NFL.com
Coaching stats at PFR

Rick Steven Dennison[1] (born June 22, 1958) is an American football coach and former player. He most recently was the senior offensive advisor for the Minnesota Vikings. He was the offensive line coach and run game coordinator for the Minnesota Vikings of the National Football League (NFL) from 2019-2020. An assistant in the NFL since 1995, he served as offensive coordinator for the Denver Broncos (2006–2008, 2015-2016), Houston Texans (2010–2013), and Buffalo Bills (2017), and served as quarterbacks coach for the Baltimore Ravens in 2014. He was the special teams coach for the Super Bowl Champion Broncos in 1997 and 1998. A linebacker who spent his entire NFL playing career in Denver from 1982 to 1990, he appeared in Super Bowls XXI, XXII, and XXIV.

Early years

Dennison was born in Kalispell, Montana, on June 22, 1958.[2] His father George was the 16th President of The University of Montana from 1990 to 2010.[3] The younger Dennison starred in football, baseball, and basketball at Rocky Mountain High School where he graduated in 1976.[4]

Playing career

College

Dennison attended Colorado State University where he was a football letterman for the Rams in 1976, 1978 and 1979. Wearing uniform number 83 and primarily a tight end for head coach Sark Arslanian, Dennison also saw some action as a wide receiver. He was both a second-team Academic All-American and the recipient of the Merrill-Gheen Award as the university's most outstanding male scholar-athlete in his senior year. He earned a bachelor's and master's degree, both in civil engineering, in 1980 and 1982 respectively.[4][5][6]

National Football League

Dennison moved to linebacker when he entered the NFL. He played for the Denver Broncos from 1982 to 1990.

Coaching career

Early career

During a year off in 1993 for personal reasons, "Rico" assisted Suffield Academy in a successful New England football championship.

Denver Broncos

Dennison began his coaching career as an offensive assistant for the Denver Broncos in 1995 and would serve in this role until 1996. In 1997, Dennison was promoted to special teams coordinator and would serve in this role for four seasons. In 2001, Dennison shifted to the offensive line coach of the Broncos. In 2006, Dennison was promoted to offensive coordinator of the Broncos and would serve in this role from 2006 to 2008.

Houston Texans

In 2010, Dennison was hired by the Houston Texans as their offensive coordinator and served in this position from 2010 to 2013. Dennison's move to Houston reunited him with Texans head coach Gary Kubiak, who was a teammate of his in Denver between 1983 and 1990 and a fellow Broncos assistant coach between 1995 and 2005, and who he succeeded as Broncos offensive coordinator in 2006. On January 6, 2013, the Chicago Bears announced that they would interview Dennison for their head coaching position.[7]

Baltimore Ravens

Both Dennison and Kubiak were appointed quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator respectively of the Baltimore Ravens on January 27, 2014.

Denver Broncos (second stint)

In January 2015, Dennison returned to the position of offensive coordinator with the Broncos following the hiring of Kubiak as head coach.[8] On February 7, 2016, Dennison was part of the Broncos coaching staff that won Super Bowl 50. In the game, the Broncos defeated the Carolina Panthers by a score of 24–10.[9]

After the retirement of Kubiak following the 2016 season, Dennison was replaced by former San Diego Chargers head coach Mike McCoy as the Broncos' offensive coordinator.[10]

Buffalo Bills

On January 19, 2017, he was hired by the Buffalo Bills to serve on Sean McDermott's staff as offensive coordinator.[11] On January 12, 2018, Dennison was relieved of duty as offensive coordinator after one season that saw the Bills offense finish 29th overall despite making the postseason.[12]

New York Jets

On January 27, 2018, Dennison was hired by the New York Jets as their offensive line coach and run game coordinator under head coach Todd Bowles.

Minnesota Vikings

On February 8, 2019, Dennison was hired by the Minnesota Vikings as their offensive line coach and run game coordinator under head coach Mike Zimmer, replacing Clancy Barone and Andrew Janocko, who took over in place of Tony Sparano, who died prior to the 2018 season.[13] In 2021 during the COVID-19 pandemic Dennison refused to take a vaccine and was promoted to a different job. Rick now serves as the Minnesota Vikings senior offensive advisor.[14] The reason for this promotion was because it will follow COVID-19 protocols, because of being able to avoid contact with players.

References

  1. ^ Denver Broncos 1981 Media Guide (profile on page 75). Retrieved January 23, 2021
  2. ^ Rick Dennison (biography) – Baltimore Ravens.
  3. ^ George M. Dennison (biography) – The International Heart Institute of Montana Foundation. Archived February 1, 2014, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ a b Rick Dennison (biography) – Houston Texans.
  5. ^ Colorado State Football 2013 Media Guide.
  6. ^ Merrill-Gheen Trophy Award Winners – Colorado State University Athletics. Archived March 7, 2014, at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ Sessler, Marc (January 6, 2013). "Chicago Bears to interview Texans OC Rick Dennison". National Football League. Retrieved January 6, 2013.
  8. ^ "Gary Kubiak adds Rick Dennison, Brian Pariani to Broncos' coaching staff". January 19, 2015.
  9. ^ "Super Bowl 50 - Denver Broncos vs. Carolina Panthers - February 7th, 2016". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved August 31, 2017.
  10. ^ John Middlekauff [@JohnMiddlekauff] (January 11, 2017). "Vance Joseph wanted to hire Todd Downing as OC, that changed yesterday. Now Mike McCoy will be his OC in Denver per multiple sources" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  11. ^ Carucci, Vic (January 20, 2017). "Bills hire Dennison as offensive coordinator". The Buffalo News.
  12. ^ Patra, Kevin (January 12, 2018). "Buffalo Bills fire OC Rick Dennison after one season". NFL.com.
  13. ^ Young, Lindsey (February 8, 2019). "5 Things to Know About New Vikings OL Coach Rick Dennison". www.vikings.com. Retrieved February 9, 2021.
  14. ^ "Sources: Vikings asst. out after refusing vaccine". ESPN.com. July 23, 2021. Retrieved October 19, 2021.