Jack Del Rio

Jack Del Rio


caption=Del Rio in 1993 as a Viking
birthdate=birth date and age|1963|4|4
Castro Valley, California
teams=As Player
* New Orleans Saints (1985-1986)
* Kansas City Chiefs (1987-1988)
* Dallas Cowboys (1989-1991)
* Minnesota Vikings (1992-1995)
* Miami Dolphins (1996) As Coach
* New Orleans Saints (1997-1998)
* Baltimore Ravens (1999-2000)
* Carolina Panthers (2001-2002)
* Jacksonville Jaguars (2003-present)
* 1x Pro Bowl selection (1994)
* 1x All-Pro selection (1994)
* 45-35-0 (Regular season record)
* 1x Super Bowl champion (XXXV)

Jack Lebron Del Rio, Jr. (born April 4, 1963 in Castro Valley, California) is a former American football player and is the current head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Early life

Del Rio attended and played football for Hayward High School in Hayward, California.

College career

Del Rio was an All-American linebacker at the University of Southern California and was MVP of the 1985 Rose Bowl. Drafted by baseball’s Toronto Blue Jays in 1981, Del Rio batted .340 while playing catcher on USC’s baseball team with Mark McGwire and Randy Johnson. In football, during his senior year, he earned consensus All-America honors as a senior and was runner-up for the Lombardi Award.

Del Rio's roommate at USC was Sean Salisbury.

Underscoring the rivalry between USC and UCLA, Del Rio, on December 12, 2006, appeared at a press conference wearing a UCLA basketball jersey after losing a bet with current Jaguars and ex-UCLA running back Maurice Jones-Drew [http://video.nbcsports.com/player/?id=50049] . 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.

Del Rio earned an undergraduate degree in political science from the University of Kansas in 1990, while he was a player for the Kansas City Chiefs. [Garfield, David. "NFL success, KU degree among Del Rio's rewards," "KU Alumni" magazine, Issue 5, 2007, page 55.]

He is a member of the Delta Chi Fraternity.

Professional career

Del Rio was drafted by the New Orleans Saints in the 3rd round of the 1985 NFL Draft. His 11-year career was spent between the Saints (1985-1986), the Kansas City Chiefs (1987-1988), Dallas Cowboys (1989-1991), and Minnesota Vikings (1992-1995). He played in the 1994 Pro Bowl. Signed by the Miami Dolphins before the 1996 season, Del Rio retired when he lost his job to rookie Zach Thomas.

Coaching career

Del Rio began his coaching career with the New Orleans Saints in 1997 as the Strength and Conditioning coach. In 1999, he accepted a position with the Baltimore Ravens as their linebackers coach. He is in part credited for the success of the Ravens' defense, particularly the 2000 Ravens' defense. After the 2001 season, he was named defensive coordinator of the Carolina Panthers. In his first season as defensive coordinator, he led them to the second best defense in the league that season.

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. 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 as a wild card team; however, the season was ended with a 28-3 loss to the New England Patriots. Del Rio was quoted as saying: "This wasn't our year, it was the Steelers'. Next year is ours." Fact|date=February 2007

Keep Chopping Wood

During his first season with the Jaguars, after the team started 0-3, Del Rio had a massive tree stump and axe placed in the team locker room. He also placed a sign that had his new team mantra, "Keep Chopping Wood". It was intended to indicate how they were to slowly whittle away the huge obstacle in the way of improving the team. While most of the team was out for practice, punter Chris Hanson took a swing, missed the stump and seriously injured his non kicking foot.Fact|date=October 2008 Hanson missed the remainder of the 2003 season, being replaced by Mark Royals.Fact|date=October 2008

The Suit

Del Rio became the second NFL head coach to wear a suit on the sidelines since 1993 during a November 20, 2006 regular season contest against the New York Giants, immediately following 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 two times a year. [ [http://www.firstcoastnews.com/sports/jags/news-article.aspx?storyid=69687 First Coast News] ] During the 2007 NFL season, both Del Rio and Nolan were given permission to wear a suit at all eight of their respective teams regular season home games.

Del Rio wore a suit again during a December 10, 2006 win over the Indianapolis Colts, 44-17.

2007 Season

In August 2007, Del Rio demoted starting quarterback Byron Leftwich and one day later, surprisingly cut him from the roster. He had said the previous winter that there would not be quarterback competition this year and Leftwich would be his starter. Nine days before the start of the 2007 Leftwich was replaced by David Garrard. The move paid off, as Del Rio lead the Jaguars to an 11-5 record, good for 2nd place in the AFC South and a wild card spot in the playoffs as the #5 seed. Jacksonville defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-29 at Heinz Field to advance to the AFC Divisional Playoff round, but their season ended with a 31-20 road loss to the New England Patriots.

On April 3rd, 2008, Del Rio's contract with the Jaguars was extended through the 2012 season. [cite news|title=Del Rio is a done deal |url=http://www.jaguars.com/news/article.aspx?id=6843 |date=2008-04-03 |publisher=Jaguars.com |accessdate=2008-04-04]

Del Rio is currently the only Hispanic head coach in the NFL.


External links

* [http://www.databasefootball.com/players/playerpage.htm?ilkid=DELRIJAC01 Jack's Career Stats as an NFL linebacker]
* [http://www.usclegends.org/jack-del-rio.php Jack Del Rio] Profile at USC Legends

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