American Football Database
Jack Del Rio

Jack Del Rio at the Jaguars 2008 training camp.
Denver Broncos
Defensive Coordinator
Personal information
Date of birth: (1963-04-04) April 4, 1963 (age 59)
Place of birth: Castro Valley, California
High School: Hayward (CA)
Height: 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) Weight: 246 lb (112 kg)
Career information
College: USC
NFL Draft: 1985 / Round: 3 / Pick: 68
Debuted in 1985 for the New Orleans Saints
Last played in 1996 for the Miami Dolphins
Career history
;As Player
As Coach
Career highlights and awards
* Pro Bowl selection (1994)
Sacks     13
Interceptions     13
Games     160
Stats at

Jack Louis Del Rio, Jr. (born April 4, 1963) is an American football coach, a former player, and is currently defensive coordinator for the Denver Broncos of the National Football League. Del Rio played both football and baseball for the University of Southern California Trojans, and then spent eleven years playing linebacker in the National Football League (NFL). He retired from playing in 1996 and went into coaching, serving in a variety of positions for several different NFL teams. In 2003, he was named head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars, a position he held until November 29, 2011. In that capacity he set the NFL record for the longest tenure of any coach without winning a division championship—over eight years.[1][2][3]

Early life

Del Rio was born in Castro Valley, California. His father is Mexican American and his mother is of Italian ancestry. He attended and played basketball, baseball and football for Hayward High School in Hayward,[3] California. He and former Seattle Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu were teammates in baseball and football while there.[4] He was drafted in the 22nd round of the 1981 amateur baseball draft by the Toronto Blue Jays, but did not sign.[5]

Playing career

College career

Del Rio was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays Major League Baseball team out of high school in 1981, but he opted instead to attend college. He enrolled at the University of Southern California, where he played both baseball and football for the USC Trojans. In football he was an All-American linebacker and was voted Most Valuable Player of the 1985 Rose Bowl. During his senior year he earned consensus All-America honors as a senior and was runner-up for the Lombardi Award. In baseball he batted .340 while playing catcher on a team that also included future Major League Baseball players Mark McGwire and Randy Johnson.

Del Rio's roommate at USC was former ESPN football analyst and former NFL and CFL quarterback Sean Salisbury.

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 current Jaguars and ex-UCLA running back Maurice Jones-Drew.[6] 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.[7]

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) who he represented at 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. Del Rio notes retirement as one of the toughest things he's ever had to do.

Jack Del Rio during his tenure with the Vikings

Coaching career

Del Rio began his coaching career with the New Orleans Saints in 1997, hired by head coach Mike Ditka as the strength and conditioning coach. In 1999, he accepted a position with the Baltimore Ravens as the linebackers' coach. He is in part credited for the success of the Ravens' 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 as a wild card; however, the season was ended with a 28–3 loss to the New England Patriots.

In 2007 Jacksonville cut quarterback Byron Leftwich in favor of David Garrard. The team went on to the playoffs, winning their first playoff game in years.[8] On April 3, 2008, Del Rio's contract with the Jaguars was extended through the 2012 season.[9]

On January 11, 2010, Del Rio was offered the head coaching job at USC, his alma mater.[10] The next day he denied receiving an offer from USC, stating that the offer was "manufactured".[11] Later that afternoon, he rebuffed USC officially, announcing that he would remain with the Jaguars at least through the duration of his current contract.[12]

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.[8]

On January 27, 2012, Del Rio was hired as the new defensive coordinator of the Denver Broncos. In week two, Del Rio was fined $25,000 for berating the replacement officials.[13]

On November 4, 2013, Del Rio was handed the head coaching duties, and was named interim head coach, as head coach John Fox was sidelined due to medical reasons. [14]


"Keep chopping wood"

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.[15]

Sideline attire

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 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.[16] 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.[citation needed]

Since his firing as Jaguars coach, however, he no longer wears a suit and is seen simply wearing team-issued apparel in his subsequent coaching jobs.

Coaching tree

NFL head coaches under whom Jack Del Rio has served:

Assistant coaches under Jack Del Rio who have become NFL head coaches:

Assistant coaches under Jack Del Rio who have become college head coaches:

Head coaching record

Team Year Regular Season Post Season
Won Lost Ties Win% Finish Won Lost Win % Result
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 - - - -
JAX 2011 3 8 0 .273 3rd in AFC South - - - (Fired)
JAX Total 68 71 0 .489 1 2 .333
Total[17] 68 71 0 .489 1 2 .333 -

Awards and honors


  1. "Jack Del Rio's firing the first of more coaching dismissals to come - Don Banks -". Retrieved 2012-09-26.
  2. Clemons, Shane (2011-02-21). "How Do We Evaluate Jack Del Rio?". Big Cat Country. Retrieved 2012-09-26.
  3. "Jaguars Fire Jack Del Rio, Team Sold". SportsFilter. 2011-11-29. Retrieved 2012-09-26.
  4. "Perseverance helps get Don Wakamatsu his first job as M's manager with Alvin Davis' approval". The Seattle Times. 2008-11-19.
  5. BR Minors page
  6. "Jags beat Colts but Del Rio loses bet". 2007-02-03. Retrieved 2010-12-28.
  7. Garfield, David. "NFL success, KU degree among Del Rio's rewards," KU Alumni magazine, Issue 5, 2007, page 55.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Mike Florio (November 29, 2011). "Del Rio out in Jacksonville". NBC Sports. Retrieved November 29, 2011.
  9. "Del Rio is a done deal". 2008-04-03. Retrieved 2008-04-04.
  10. [1]
  11. "Jack Del Rio denies receiving offer to coach USC Trojans". ESPN Los Angeles. 2010-01-12. Retrieved 2010-12-28.
  12. [2]
  13. "Belichick fined 50K, Kyle Shanahan 25K by NFL - Yahoo! Sports". Retrieved 2012-09-26.
  14. Jones, Lindsay (January 27, 2012). "Broncos hire Jack Del Rio as defensive coordinator". Retrieved January 27, 2012.
  15. Locker room prop costs Jaguars their punter
  16. First Coast News
  17. "Jack Del Rio Record, Statistics, and Category Ranks". Retrieved 2010-12-28.
  18. "2010 NCAA Silver Anniversary Award". Retrieved 14 December 2009.

External links