American Football Wiki
Jack Del Rio
Personal Information
Born April 04 1963 (1963-04-04) (age 61)
Career information
Year(s) 19851996
NFL Draft 1985 / Round: 3 / Pick: 68
College Southern California
Professional teams
As Player
As Coach
Career stats
Sacks 13
Interceptions 13
Games 160
Stats at
Career highlights and awards

Jack Louis Del Rio Jr. (born April 4, 1963) is an American football coach, a former player who most recently served as head coach of the Oakland Raiders of National Football Leagues (NFL). 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, after which he took the head coaching job with the Raiders in January 2015. Del Rio was fired in 2017 after three seasons with the team.

Early life[]

Del Rio was born in Castro Valley, California. He attended and played both baseball and football for Hayward High School in Hayward, California. He and former Seattle Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu were teammates in both sports while there.[1]

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.[2] 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.[3]

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 it appeared in(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. Del Rio notes retirement as one of the toughest things he's ever had to do.

File:Jack.del rio.jpg

Jack Del Rio during his tenure with the Vikings.

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 2002, his first season as defensive coordinator, he led them to the second best defense in the league that season.

Jacksonville jaguars[]

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 team; however, the season was ended with a 28–3 loss to the 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.[4] On April 3, 2008, Del Rio's contract with the Jaguars was extended through the 2012 season.[5]

On January 11, 2010, Del Rio was offered the head coaching job at USC, his alma mater.[6] The next day he denied receiving an offer from USC, stating that the offer was "manufactured".[7] Later that afternoon, he rebuffed USC officially, announcing that he would remain with the Jaguars at least through the duration of his current contract.[8]

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 in two playoff appearances over nine years.[4]

Denver Broncos[]

On January 27, 2012, Del Rio was hired as the new defensive coordinator of the Denver Broncos.[9]

Oakland Raiders[]

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.[10]

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.[11] 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.[12]

Keep Chopping Wood[]

The mantra, 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.[13]

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 two times a year.[14] 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.

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 .300 3rd in AFC South - - - -
JAX Total 68 71 0 .489 1 2 .333 -
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
OAK total 25 23 0 .521 0 1 .000
Total[15] 93 94 0 .497 1 3 .250

Awards and honors[]

Personal life[]

Del Rio and his wife, Linda, have three daughters, Lauren, Hope and Aubrey, and one son, Luke. He is the son of Cathy Dwalz and Jack Del Rio, Sr. Del Rio is a member of the Delta Chi Fraternity. In 2010, as a result of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, Del Rio appeared in a commercial to raise awareness for the spill.


  1. "Perseverance helps get Don Wakamatsu his first job as M's manager with Alvin Davis' approval", The Seattle Times, 2008-11-19. 
  2. Jags beat Colts but Del Rio loses bet. (2007-02-03). Retrieved on 2010-12-28.
  3. Garfield, David. "NFL success, KU degree among Del Rio's rewards," KU Alumni magazine, Issue 5, 2007, page 55.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Mike Florio (November 29, 2011). Del Rio out in Jacksonville. NBC Sports. Retrieved on November 29, 2011.
  5. "Del Rio is a done deal",, 2008-04-03. Retrieved on 2008-04-04. 
  6. [1]
  7. Jack Del Rio denies receiving offer to coach USC Trojans. ESPN Los Angeles (2010-01-12). Retrieved on 2010-12-28.
  8. [2]
  9. Jones, Lindsay. "Broncos hire Jack Del Rio as defensive coordinator",, January 27, 2012. Retrieved on January 27, 2012. 
  10. Bair, Scott. "Raiders get their man, hire Jack Del Rio as new head coach", Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, January 14, 2015. 
  11. Wire, SI. Jack Del Rio signs four-year contract extension.
  12. Oakland Raiders fire head coach Jack Del Rio. NFL. Retrieved on 1 January 2018.
  13. Locker room prop costs Jaguars their punter
  14. First Coast News
  15. Jack Del Rio Record, Statistics, and Category Ranks. Retrieved on January 20, 2018.
  16. 2010 NCAA Silver Anniversary Award. Retrieved on 14 December 2009.

External links[]