(CBS) The Bears have found their new leader.
Chicago has hired John Fox as the 15th coach in franchise history, they confirmed Friday afternoon. He signed a four-year deal, according to Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer.
Fox, 59, comes to Chicago with 13 years of experience as a head coach. His last four seasons were spent in Denver, where he led the Broncos to four straight AFC West titles and a Super Bowl appearance following the 2013 season. He was 46-18 in the regular season with the Broncos and 3-4 in the playoffs. Twice in the past three seasons, Denver was eliminated from the playoffs in the divisional round as a heavy home favorite, including Sunday in a 24-13 loss to Indianapolis.
Prior to his Denver tenure, Fox coached in Carolina for nine seasons, leading the Panthers to a 73-71 record in that span, two division titles and an appearance in the Super Bowl following the 2003 season.
Overall, Fox has compiled a 119-89 (.572) regular-season record and an 8-7 mark in seven playoff appearances. He’s one of only six coaches to lead two different teams to the Super Bowl.
Fox and the Broncos mutually parted ways Monday, with Denver general manager John Elway explaining the two didn’t see eye-to-eye on how to reach the next level.
“It didn’t feel like we went out kicking and screaming,” Elway told reporters of the playoff exit.
The Bears’ searches have now come to an end after nearly three weeks. Chicago fired GM Phil Emery and coach Marc Trestman on Dec. 29 following a 5-11 season that was ugly on the field and too dramatic off of it. The Bears hired new general manager Ryan Pace last Thursday.
While Fox’s availability was somewhat surprising, his landing in Chicago isn’t. Fox served as the Giants’ defensive coordinator from 1997-2001, a time frame in which Bears consultant Ernie Accorsi was the assistant GM and then GM in New York.
In addition, Saints coach Sean Payton — who worked with Pace for nine seasons in New Orleans — was on the same coaching staff in New York, serving as a quarterbacks coach and then offensive coordinator.
Prior to hiring Fox, the Bears were known to have interviewed then-Cardinals defensive coordinator/new-Jets coach Todd Bowles, Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, Broncos offensive coordinator Adam Gase, Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin and ex-Bills coach Doug Marrone for their coaching vacancy.