Del Rio as Oakland Raiders head coach in 2016
|No. 50, 55|
|Born:||April 4, 1963|
Castro Valley, California
|Height:||6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)|
|Weight:||246 lb (112 kg)|
|High school:||Hayward (Hayward, California)|
|NFL Draft:||1985 / Round: 3 / Pick: 68|
|* Offseason and/or practice squad member only|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
|Head coaching record|
|Regular season:||93-94 (.497)|
|Player stats at PFR|
|Coaching stats at PFR|
Jack Louis Del Rio Jr. (born April 4, 1963) is a former American football coach and player. He played linebacker in the National Football League (NFL) for five NFL teams between 1985-1996. He played college football at the University of Southern California.
Del Rio began his coaching career as an assistant strength and linebacker coach with the New Orleans Saints. He was the linebacker coach on the Super Bowl XXXV-winning Baltimore Ravens, and defensive coordinator on the Carolina Panthers and the Denver Broncos. He served as head coach of the league's Jacksonville Jaguars from 2003 until 2011, the second in team history, and took a second head coaching job with the Oakland Raiders, in January 2015. Del Rio was fired in 2017 after three seasons with the team.
Del Rio was born in Castro Valley, California to a father of Mexican descent and an Italian-American mother. He attended Hayward High School in Hayward, California where he developed into a notable three-sport athlete, earning All-state honors in football, baseball and basketball.
In football, he helped his team win a North Coast Section 2A Championship. In baseball although he was the starting catcher. In one game he was used as a pitcher and struck out 16 in a playoff game against Mission San Jose-Fremont. He and future Seattle Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu were teammates in baseball and football.
Del Rio was selected by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 22nd round (550th overall) of the 1981 MLB Draft out of high school, but opted instead to accept a scholarship from the University of Southern California to play both football and baseball.
In football, he became a four-year starter. As a junior, he made the third-team 1983 All-American team. As a senior, he earned consensus All-American honors, was a runner-up for the Lombardi Award given to the nation's best lineman or linebacker, and was named along with quarterback Tim Green co-MVP of the 1985 Rose Bowl. He finished his college career with 340 tackles, including 58 tackles for loss. He was voted on the Second-team All-Pac-10 (1984) team, not making the First-Team for the first time in his college career.
In 2015, he was inducted into the USC Athletic Hall of Fame.
Del Rio was selected by the New Orleans Saints in the third round (68th overall) of the 1985 NFL Draft. He was also selected in the 1985 USFL Territorial Draft by the Los Angeles Express. As a rookie, he started 9 games at right inside linebacker, tied a franchise record with 5 fumble recoveries (including one returned for a 22-yard touchdown) and earned NFL All-rookie honors. He also collected 68 tackles, 5 passes defensed and 3 forced fumbles.
On August 17, 1987, he was traded to the Kansas City Chiefs in exchange for a fifth round draft choice, reuniting him with former Saints defensive coordinator John Paul Young. He started 9 games at right outside linebacker, tallying 45 tackles, 2 sacks and one forced fumble.
That season the NFL players went on strike. Throughout this period of time, Del Rio and teammates picketed outside of Arrowhead stadium and were vigilantly watching for replacement players attempting to enter the facility. Del Rio mistakenly mistook former Chiefs wide receiver Otis Taylor for a replacement player and assaulted him. At the time, Taylor was a scout for the Chiefs organization and had been retired for 12 years. Chiefs fans who came across the assault told Del Rio that Taylor was actually an 11-year veteran and legend in the Kansas City Chiefs organization. Taylor would later press charges and the two would settle out of court.
On August 30, 1989, he was claimed off waivers by the Dallas Cowboys. He was named the starter at strongside linebacker in the fifth game against the Green Bay Packers, where he suffered a bruised calf that forced him to miss the next 2 games. He started 12 contests at strongside linebacker, while sharing the position with David Howard in the final eight games, playing in the first and third quarters, finishing the season with 58 tackles, 2 fumble recoveries (including one returned for a 57-yard touchdown) and one pass defensed.
The next year, he started 16 games at strongside linebacker, making 104 tackles (third on the team), 1.5 sacks, 4 quarterback pressures and 2 passes defensed. In 1991, he replaced Eugene Lockhart as the starter at middle linebacker, while leading the team with 130 total tackles, 53 assists and 77 solo tackles.
In the 1990s, the Cowboys organization felt they could avoid paying a premium and adversely impacting the salary cap by drafting linebackers, so they allowed talented and productive players like Del Rio, Ken Norton, Jr., Darrin Smith, Dixon Edwards, Robert Jones, and Randall Godfrey, to leave via free agency instead of signing them to long-term contracts.
He led the team in tackles for three consecutive years and was selected to the 1994 Pro Bowl as a 'need player'. The next year, he suffered a knee injury in the week 9 game against the Chicago Bears and started one late season contest after that, while being replaced with Jeff Brady.
On June 2, 1996, he signed a one-year contract with the Miami Dolphins, reuniting him with former Cowboys head coach Jimmy Johnson. On August 4, he was released after being passed on the depth chart by rookie Zach Thomas. He finished his career with 160 game appearances (128 starts), 1,005 tackles, 13 sacks, and 13 interceptions.[a]
Del Rio was hired by New Orleans Saints head coach Mike Ditka as the team's strength and conditioning coach in 1997, moving to linebacker coach the next year. In 1999, he took the same job with the Baltimore Ravens. He is in part credited for the success of the Ravens' Super Bowl-winning defense, particularly in the 2000 season. After the 2001 season, he was named defensive coordinator of the Carolina Panthers and in his first season, in 2002, he led them to the second best defense in the league.
In 2003, Del Rio became the second head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars following Tom Coughlin's dismissal. In his first season, he led the team to a 5-11 record. That year, Jacksonville finished the season with the second-ranked rush defense and sixth best overall defense, having ranked 25th and 20th in those two categories, respectively, the year prior. In 2004, the Jaguars narrowly missed the playoffs with a 9-7 record, the first winning record in five seasons. The following season, the team made the playoffs for the first time since advancing all the way to the AFC title game in 1999. They qualified as a wild card; however, the season was ended with a 28-3 loss to the New England Patriots.
After missing the playoffs in 2006, Jacksonville cut quarterback Byron Leftwich in favor of David Garrard. The team returned to the playoffs in 2007 winning their first playoff game since 1999. On April 3, 2008, Del Rio's contract with the Jaguars was extended through the 2012 season.
On January 11, 2010, Del Rio was offered the head coaching job at USC, his alma mater. The next day he denied receiving an offer from USC, stating that the offer was "manufactured". Later that afternoon, he rebuffed USC officially, announcing that he would remain with the Jaguars at least through the duration of his current contract.
On November 29, 2011, Del Rio was fired as Jacksonville's head coach. He left with a regular season record of 68-71 and a 1-2 record in two playoff appearances over his nine years.
The mantra "Keep chopping wood", introduced by Del Rio during the 2003 season, was intended to indicate how the team would slowly whittle away the huge obstacles in front of them. Del Rio placed a wooden stump and axe in the Jaguars' locker room as a symbol of his rallying cry.
After his teammates had been taking swings at the wood with the axe, punter Chris Hanson followed suit and seriously wounded his non-kicking foot. Hanson missed the remainder of the 2003 season, being replaced by Mark Royals.
Del Rio became the second NFL head coach since 1993 to wear a suit on the sidelines during a November 20, 2006 regular season contest against the New York Giants, immediately following then San Francisco 49ers head coach Mike Nolan who had sported the look the previous day in a win over the Seattle Seahawks.
Del Rio's Jaguars won that game by a score of 26-10. Previously, a sponsorship deal between the NFL and Reebok prohibited coaches from wearing anything but Reebok clothing, but a series of events--including Nolan petitioning for permission to wear a suit and Reebok planning to unveil a formal line of clothing in 2007--led to the NFL adopting a rule that permits coaches to wear a suit twice a year. After he left the Jaguars, he has not worn a suit since and has worn team-issued apparel for his subsequent coaching jobs.
On January 27, 2012, Del Rio was hired as the new defensive coordinator of the Denver Broncos. In Week 2, Del Rio was fined $25,000 for berating the replacement officials. On November 4, 2013, Del Rio was handed the head coaching duties and named interim head coach for several games when head coach John Fox was sidelined due to medical reasons.
On January 14, 2015, Del Rio was hired to become the new head coach of the Oakland Raiders, replacing the fired Dennis Allen (who coincidentally had preceded him as the Broncos defensive coordinator) and interim head coach Tony Sparano.
In 2016, Del Rio led the Raiders to a 12-4 record, with the team making the playoffs for the first time since 2002. They lost to the Texans in the wild card round.
On February 10, 2017, Del Rio signed a 4-year contract extension. After the Raiders' 30-10 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers in the regular season finale and a 6-10 record, on December 31, 2017, Del Rio was fired by Mark Davis.
|JAX||2003||5||11||0||.313||3rd in AFC South||--||--||--||--|
|JAX||2004||9||7||0||.563||2nd in AFC South||--||--||--||--|
|JAX||2005||12||4||0||.750||2nd in AFC South||0||1||.000||Lost to New England Patriots in AFC Wild-Card Game|
|JAX||2006||8||8||0||.500||3rd in AFC South||--||--||--||--|
|JAX||2007||11||5||0||.688||2nd in AFC South||1||1||.500||Lost to New England Patriots in AFC Divisional Game|
|JAX||2008||5||11||0||.313||4th in AFC South||--||--||--||--|
|JAX||2009||7||9||0||.438||4th in AFC South||--||--||--||--|
|JAX||2010||8||8||0||.500||2nd in AFC South||--||--||--||--|
|OAK||2015||7||9||0||.438||3rd in AFC West||--||--||--||--|
|OAK||2016||12||4||0||.750||2nd in AFC West||0||1||.000||Lost to Houston Texans in AFC Wild-Card Game|
|OAK||2017||6||10||0||.375||3rd in AFC West||--||--||--||--|
NFL head coaches under whom Del Rio has worked:
Assistants under Del Rio who became NFL head coaches:
Underscoring the UCLA-USC rivalry, on December 12, 2006 Del Rio appeared at a press conference wearing a UCLA basketball jersey after losing a bet with ex-UCLA running back Maurice Jones-Drew. UCLA's football team had recorded one of the biggest upsets in school history by defeating USC the previous week. However, after acknowledging his loss in the bet, he removed the UCLA jersey, revealing a USC polo shirt underneath.