Jack Del Rio has been named head coach of the Oakland Raiders, the club announced Thursday. Del Rio, who was raised in nearby Hayward, Calif., becomes the 19th head coach in the 55-year history of the franchise.
The appointment begins Del Rio’s second tenure as an NFL head coach, having served in that role for the Jacksonville Jaguars for nine seasons from 2003 to 2011. Del Rio spent the past three seasons as defensive coordinator of the Denver Broncos.
“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. “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.”
“Jack Del Rio brings a strong leadership presence to this organization,” said General Manager Reggie McKenzie. “He has developed an excellent reputation as a coach in this league and we are happy that he is a Raider.”
A coaching veteran of 18 seasons, Del Rio recently concluded his second stint as a defensive coordinator under Head Coach John Fox, as the two spent the 2002 season together in Carolina. Del Rio was part of three-straight AFC West titles with the Broncos and helped lead Denver to an AFC Championship and appearance in Super Bowl XLVIII following the 2013 campaign.
Del Rio’s defenses have ranked in the top six in the NFL in yards per game allowed in 10 of his 17 seasons as a position coach, coordinator or head coach. During that time, he has coached 18 players to a total of 27 Pro Bowl selections.
In 2014, Del Rio’s defensive unit boasted five Pro Bowl selections, ranked third in the NFL in overall defense (305.2 yards per game), and second in the league against the run, allowing 79.8 yards per game. With 25 takeaways and a plus-five turnover ratio, Del Rio’s defense was instrumental in leading the Broncos to a third-straight 12-win season.
In his second season with the Broncos in 2013, Del Rio’s defense persevered through injuries and managed to improve drastically entering the playoffs. Over the last four weeks of the regular season, Denver ranked fourth in the NFL in total defense (271.5 ypg)—an improvement of 112.7 yards per game from its previous 12 contests.
Del Rio also accepted the additional role of interim head coach (Weeks 10-13) while John Fox underwent a heart procedure and led the Broncos to a 3-1 record against teams with a combined record of 29-9 (.763).
In 2012, Denver’s defense finished as the NFL’s second-ranked unit (290.8 ypg), ranking third against the pass (199.6 ypg) and the rush (91.1 ypg). The group also tied for the league lead with 52 sacks and allowed the lowest opponent third-down percentage (30.6), while tying for the largest scoring improvement (6.3 ppg) from the previous season.
The Broncos produced Pro Bowl selections at each level of the defense in 2012, as cornerback Champ Bailey, linebacker Von Miller and defensive end Elvis Dumervil represented Denver on the AFC squad. Linebacker Wesley Woodyard, cornerback Chris Harris, Jr. and safety Rahim Moore became productive starters for the group, and defensive end Derek Wolfe became just the second defensive lineman in team history to open every game as a rookie.
Miller, the runner-up for NFL Defensive Player of the Year, set a team record with 18.5 sacks in 2012 and combined with Dumervil (11 sacks) to represent the league’s top pass-rushing duo. Additionally, Woodyard became just the second Bronco in 30 years to record at least 100 tackles, five sacks and three interceptions in a season.
Prior to joining the Broncos in 2012, Del Rio spent nine seasons at the helm in Jacksonville. During his head coaching tenure (2003-11) with the Jaguars, the club ranked sixth in the NFL in yards per game allowed (317.3) and eighth in points per game allowed (20.3). A staple of Del Rio’s defensive units was their ability to stop the run, surrendering just 105.6 yards per contest on the ground throughout his tenure to rank sixth in the league.
Under Del Rio, the Jaguars made two playoff appearances in 2005 and 2007, highlighted by the club’s first postseason win in eight seasons with a 31-29 road victory against the Pittsburgh Steelers in a 2007 AFC Wild Card Game.
In just his second season in Jacksonville in 2004, Del Rio led the Jaguars (9-7) to their first winning record in five years and a second-place finish in the AFC South Division.
During his lone season as a defensive coordinator with Carolina in 2002, he inherited the NFL’s worst defense statistically (371.4 ypg allowed) and turned it into the league’s second-ranked unit (290.4 ypg allowed). Additionally, the 2002 Panthers squad led the NFL in rushing average against (3.7) and ranked second in third down efficiency (32.9%) and sacks (52).
As linebackers coach for the Baltimore Ravens from 1999-2001, Del Rio tutored a talented group that included Peter Boulware, Ray Lewis and Jamie Sharper. Baltimore’s 2000 team set the NFL 16-game record by allowing only 165 points while recording four shutouts and forcing a league-best 49 turnovers. Lewis was named the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year and the MVP of Super Bowl XXXV that season after a playoff run in which the defense surrendered just one touchdown in four games.
Del Rio began his coaching career with the New Orleans Saints under Head Coach Mike Ditka, serving as an assistant strength coach in 1997 before moving on to coach the linebackers in 1998.
A veteran of 11 seasons as an NFL linebacker, he was selected in the third round (68th overall) of the 1985 NFL Draft by New Orleans and went on to make the NFL’s All-Rookie Team and earn the Saints’ Rookie of the Year award.
Following two seasons in New Orleans (1985-86), he played for Kansas City (1987-88), Dallas (1989-91) and Minnesota (1992-95). He led the Vikings in tackles for three consecutive years and was selected to participate in the Pro Bowl in 1994. For his career, he played 160 games (128 starts) in the regular season and totaled 1,078 tackles, 12 sacks and 13 interceptions.
Del Rio was a four-year starter at the University of Southern California, where he earned consensus All-America honors as a senior and was runner-up for the Lombardi Award, given to the nation’s best lineman or linebacker. Named co-MVP of the 1985 Rose Bowl, Del Rio helped the Trojans to a 30-15-1 record while posting 340 career defensive stops, including 58 tackles for a loss.
Teammates with Randy Johnson and Mark McGwire on USC’s baseball team from 1983-84, he was drafted by Major League Baseball’s Toronto Blue Jays in 1981. He will be inducted into the USC Athletic Hall of Fame in 2015.
Del Rio was a three-sport star in football, baseball and basketball at Hayward High School in Hayward, Calif. He earned a degree in political science from the University of Kansas while playing for the Chiefs. Born on April 4, 1963, in Castro Valley, Calif., Del Rio and his wife, Linda, have three daughters (Lauren, Hope and Aubrey) and a son Luke, who is a quarterback at Oregon State University.
|YEARS||COLLEGE/PRO TEAM||POSITION COACHED|
|1997||New Orleans Saints||Assistant Strength Coach|
|1998||New Orleans Saints||Linebackers|
|2002||Carolina Panthers||Defensive Coordinator|
|2003-11||Jacksonville Jaguars||Head Coach|
|2012-14||Denver Broncos||Defensive Coordinator|
|2013 (Weeks 10-13)||Denver Broncos||Interim Head Coach|
|2015||Oakland Raiders||Head Coach|