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Denver Broncos general manager, left, and new head coach Vance Joseph at the UCHealth Training Center. Photo courtesy of the Denver Broncos
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Vance Joseph earns ‘dream job’ as Broncos head coach.

Denver Broncos general manager, left, and new head coach Vance Joseph at the UCHealth Training Center. Photo courtesy of the Denver Broncos

For the Denver Broncos, it was Vance Joseph all along.

Joseph was the last of a trio of candidates to interview with the Broncos for the club’s head coach opening and the only to visit the club’s UCHealth Training Center at Dove Valley, the facility in which the new play caller will call home.

The team announced Wednesday afternoon that Joseph would become the 16th head coach in Broncos history, signing a 4-year deal with the club.

“Vance is very good football coach and teacher who is ready for this opportunity. His leadership qualities, his vision for building a championship team and his ability to get the most out of players are off the charts,” said general manager John Elway in a statement released by a team.

“In talking with Vance, the culture that he believes in and the culture of our organization are closely aligned and focused on one thing: Winning. He understands the high expectations this franchise has always had under Pat Bowlen, and he embraces them.”

In a statement, Joseph called becoming the Broncos head coach a “dream job,” thanking Elway and the club’s president and CEO Joe Ellis.

“The Broncos have an unbelievable winning tradition and great fan support. But what makes this even more special is it’s a place that’s ready to win,” Joseph said. “This is not a rebuilding situation — it’s a reboot. There is a culture of winning here, and the standards around here won’t change — those are to win championships.”

Joseph returned to the team’s headquarters Wednesday morning after interviewing with Elway and a team of executives for several hours Tuesday afternoon. The group reportedly dined together at one of former Broncos quarterback’s Denver-area restaurants Tuesday evening, and Joseph spent the night in town.

According to 9News Broncos Insider Mike Klis, Joseph, who had been scheduled to fly out for an interview with the San Diego Chargers, received a call Wednesday morning asking for him to come back into the team’s facility to hash out the details of Denver’s offer. He was also slated to meet with the San Francisco 49ers on Thursday.

Joseph outlasted a late push for the job from Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, the son of former Broncos head coach Mike Shanahan. Denver interviewed with Shanahan in Atlanta on Saturday ahead of the Falcons’ NFC divisional round playoff matchup with the Seattle Seahawks.

The Broncos also interview Kansas City Chiefs special teams coordinator Dave Toub on Friday ahead of his team’s AFC divisional round tilt with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

It’ll be the first head coaching position Joseph’s held in his 12-year NFL career after just his first year as defensive coordinator with the Miami Dolphins in 2016. Previous to that, he was a defensive backs coach for the Cincinnati Bengals (2013-2014), Houston Texans (2011-2013), and San Francisco 49ers (2005-2010).

Joseph also makes his return to Colorado, the birthplace of not only his playing career but also his coaching career.

A quarterback and running back, Joseph was a three-year letterman at the University of Colorado, from where he graduated in 1994. And after two years playing for the New York Jets and Indianapolis Colts in 1995 and 1996, Joseph returned to CU as a graduate assistant from 1999 to 2001.

After a brief stint in 2002 with the Wyoming Cowboys as its defensive backs coach, Joseph returned to CU in the same role from 2002-2003 before heading to Bowling Green in 2004.

Follow digital content producer Johnny Hart on Twitter: @johnnyhart7.