The Oakland Raiders have hired their next head coach: Jack Del Rio, formerly Denver’s Defensive Coordinator. Del Rio replaces Interim Coach Tony Sporano as the 19th head coach in the team’s history.
Announced by the Raiders this morning, the move gives Jack Del Rio his second head coaching stint in the NFL. Jack was previously the head coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars, spending nine seasons with the team from 2003 to 2011. This is also the second coach to leave Denver after their disappointing playoff loss to the Indianapolis Colts, as Head Coach John Fox has also left the organization. Currently, as reported by the Inquisitr, Fox is reportedly being sought by the Chicago Bears to fill their coaching vacancy.
Del Rio has coached on multiple staffs over his 18 years in coaching. He started out as an assistant strength coach for the New Orleans Saints before moving to coach the linebackers in 1998. After his working in New Orleans, Jack coached in Baltimore as the Ravens’ linebackers coach, where he was pivotal in tutoring perennial All-Pro linebacker Ray Lewis. Del Rio’s linebacker corp was instrumental in securing Baltimore’s first Super Bowl win since moving to Maryland (Super Bowl XXXV).
According to Fox Sports, other candidates for the job were Mike Shanahan, the former Denver and Washington Head Coach, former Jets Coach Eric Mangini, Seattle Offensive Coordinator Darrell Bevell, and Indianapolis Colts Offensive Coordinator Pep Hamilton. Citing sources, Fox Sports states Jack Del Rio was the only candidate to receive a second formal interview with the team.
“After a thorough interview and evaluation process, we are excited to announce Jack Del Rio as the head coach of the Oakland Raiders,” said Owner Mark Davis on the team’s website. “I have no doubt that he will make a significant impact and help reach the goal of everyone in this building, which is to win championships.”
Prior to coaching in the NFL, Jack Del Rio played 11 years in the league as a linebacker for the Kansas City Chiefs, Dallas Cowboys, Minnesota Vikings, and New Orleans Saints. During that time, Del Rio was selected to the Pro Bowl in 1994 and led the Vikings in tackles for three consecutive years.
Following the announcement this morning, the internet seems to have reacted mostly positive to the hire.
In addition to football, Del Rio was also a talented baseball player, having played alongside Randy Johnson and Mark McGwire on the University of Southern California’s team. Jack was also drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in 1981, and is currently slated to be inducted into the USC Hall of Fame this year.
What are your thoughts about Jack Del Rio being hired by the Raiders? Happy he’s coming home to California, or did you want to see your team go in a different direction? Sound off in the comments below.
[Image courtesy of Kyle Terada – USA Today Sports, via Silver And Black Pride]