Jack Del Rio biography
Date of birth : 1963-04-04
Date of death : -
Birthplace : Castro Valley, California
Nationality : American
Category : Sports
Last modified : 2010-10-23
Credited as : Football player NFL, head coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars, Super Bowl
Now in his 25th year in the NFL and his 14th season in coaching, Del Rio was named the second head coach in Jaguars history on January 17, 2003. Over the 2003-09 seasons the Jacksonville defense ranks eighth in the NFL in yards allowed (311.9 per game) and sixth in rushing (102.9), while the offense ranks third in rushing yards (130.5) and fourth in fewest turnovers (161) under Del Rio. The Jaguars are one of only seven teams to rank in the top 13 in both offense and defense since 2003.
“We took a very aggressive approach last year to turn over the roster, and this year we look to build on that,” Del Rio said about his 2010 squad. “We’ve identified a core group of players with high character who can help lead this team to our goals, which start with a return to the postseason and ultimately the championship. We continue the process of growing with a selfless, team-first mentality in which everyone has the work ethic and the buy-in necessary to become something special.”
Del Rio served as a member of the NFL Coaches Sub-committee to the powerful NFL Competition Committee from 2006-09. In that role he participated in many hours of committee meetings and discussions devoted to the advancement of the game. He has played for, coached with, and learned from some of the best coaches in all of football. He was recruited to play at Southern California by John Robinson, and in the NFL he played under Bum Phillips, Jim Mora, Frank Gansz, Jimmy Johnson and Dennis Green.
Among other notable coaches he teamed with during his 11-year NFL playing career are Dom Capers, Dave Campo, Dave Wannstedt, Tony Dungy, Monte Kiffin, Tom Moore, Norv Turner, Butch Davis and Mike Tice. As an assistant coach for six seasons, Del Rio worked on the staffs of Hall of Famer Mike Ditka, Super Bowl winner Brian Billick, and Super Bowl participant John Fox. Del Rio has also worked on winning teams with Marvin Lewis, Mike Nolan, Mike Smith and Rex Ryan.
Del Rio, 46, had the second-longest playing career among the league’s seven current head coaches who played in the NFL. The others are Mike Singletary (12 years), Gary Kubiak (9), Ken Whisenhunt (9), Jeff Fisher (5), Sean Payton (1) and Tom Cable (1).
In 2009, Del Rio led one of the league’s youngest teams, with four rookies in full-time roles as starters, 32 new players on the roster and a total of 16 rookies by season’s end. The team built a 7-5 record by early December and was in playoff contention until the final weekend of the regular season, finishing 7-9. Rookies combined to make 71 starts, the most in team history, and the team was penalized a league-low of 70 times, the fewest in franchise history.
In 2008, the Jaguars battled through injuries from the beginning of the season but finished 5-11 despite having just four players start all 16 games and a total of 15 players on injured reserve at the end of the year. Among the highlights were early-season wins against Indianapolis, Houston and Denver and a late-season victory against Green Bay.
The Jaguars posted an 11-5 record in 2007 to earn a second playoff berth in three years, in addition to claiming the franchise’s first playoff win since the 1999 season while becoming the first team in NFL history to win in Pittsburgh twice in one season. The offense ranked seventh in the league and scored a team-record 411 points. The offense had a team-record seven games with 400 or more yards while the defense held opponents to 17 points or less 10 times.
Del Rio led the 2006 Jaguars to a record of 8-8 as the team finished 5-3 against playoff teams and suffered seven losses by seven points or less. Among the highlights were a team-record 2,541 rushing yards and just 30 sacks allowed on offense, and a 375-yard rushing performance on Dec. 10 against the Colts - tied for the third-best in NFL history. The defense registered the highest ranking in team history at second overall, made a team-record 20 interceptions, and posted two shutouts.
In 2005, the Jaguars won eight of the last nine regular season games, including four straight on the road, en route to a 12-4 finish and a Wild Card playoff berth. The league's sixth-ranked defense was sixth in points allowed and had 19 defensive interceptions. On offense the team increased scoring by 100 points over the previous year and had a team-record and NFL-low six interceptions thrown. The unit ranked fifth in the league in time of possession and second in turnovers.
In 2004 Del Rio posted the team’s first winning record in five seasons along with a second-place finish in the division, the team’s highest since 1999, in leading the Jaguars to a 9-7 mark. The defense led the league in red zone efficiency, ranked seventh in scoring defense, and finished 11th in yards allowed.
In taking over the Jaguars in 2003, Del Rio was the architect of a defense that improved to sixth overall in the NFL and second against the run. He inherited a team that had not been in the top 10 in total defense since 1999 after ranking 20th in 2002. Del Rio’s defense allowed only one 100-yard rusher in 2003, while the offense gave up just 28 sacks, the fewest in team history, and Fred Taylor rushed for a team-record 1,572 yards. The Jaguars’ 5-11 record included six losses by seven points or less.
The immediate improvement on defense was no coincidence as Del Rio took the Carolina Panthers defense from last in the league to second overall as defensive coordinator of the Panthers in 2002. Coming off a 1-15 season, the Panthers led the NFL in fewest rushing yards allowed per attempt and the defense ranked second in fewest yards per play, third down efficiency, and sacks. The Panthers allowed the fifth-fewest points in the league, did not allow a 300-yard passer, and didn’t yield a 100-yard rusher until the season finale.
From 1999 to 2001, Del Rio served as linebackers coach for the Baltimore Ravens, helping the team win Super Bowl XXXV over the New York Giants. For those three years, during which the Ravens finished second in total defense three times, Del Rio coached the talented linebacker corps featuring Peter Boulware, Jamie Sharper and Ray Lewis, the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2000 and the MVP of Super Bowl XXXV. During the Ravens’ 2000 season, the defense set the NFL 16-game record by allowing only 165 points and recording four shutouts, one shy of the post-1970 record. The group also led the NFL with 49 forced turnovers. In the playoffs, the unit allowed just one touchdown in four games.
Del Rio began his coaching career where he started his playing career – in New Orleans under Ditka. He spent two seasons with the Saints as assistant strength coach in 1997 and linebackers coach in 1998.
Drafted in the third round (68th overall) by the Saints in 1985, Del Rio was named to the NFL’s All-Rookie team and earned the Saints’ Rookie of the Year award. Following two seasons in New Orleans (1985-86), he played for the Kansas City Chiefs (1987-88), Dallas Cowboys (1989-91) and Minnesota Vikings (1992-95). He led the Vikings in tackles three straight years and played in the Pro Bowl following the 1994 season. Del Rio finished his career with 1,078 tackles, 12 quarterback sacks, 13 interceptions and more than 100 consecutive starts between 1989 and 1994. He went to the playoffs once with the Cowboys and three times with the Vikings.
Del Rio was a four-year starter from 1981-84 at Southern California, where he earned consensus All-America honors as a senior and was runner-up for the Lombardi Award. The Trojans were 30-15-1 during his four seasons, three times ranking in the top 15. He played in the 1982 Fiesta Bowl and was co-MVP of the 1985 Rose Bowl. He led the Trojans in tackles for a loss three years in a row and played in the East-West Shrine Game and the Japan Bowl. Del Rio finished his college career with 340 tackles, 58 tackles for loss, five fumble recoveries and one interception.
Drafted out of high school by the Toronto Blue Jays in 1981, Del Rio batted .340 while playing catcher on Southern California's baseball team in 1983 and ‘84. He was a teammate of now-retired pitcher Randy Johnson and St. Louis Cardinals batting coach Mark McGwire.
A graduate of Hayward (Calif.) High School, the alma mater of Bill Walsh, Del Rio starred in football, baseball and basketball and was a teammate with Seattle Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu. He holds a political science degree from the University of Kansas, which he earned while playing for the Chiefs. Born April 4, 1963 in Castro Valley, Calif., he and his wife, Linda, have three daughters, Lauren, Hope and Aubrey, and a son, Luke.
JACK DEL RIO FOUNDATION: Coach Del Rio, along with his wife Linda, established the Jack Del Rio Foundation in June of 2008. The goal of the foundation is to help improve the lives of children in Northeast Florida by assisting programs that aid in the development, education and enrichment of our youth. The inaugural Jack Del Rio Foundation VIP Celebration and Celebrity Golf Tournament took place in October of 2008 at TPC Sawgrass. Proceeds from the event resulted in grants which were awarded to Seamark Ranch, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Cathedral Arts Project, and the Community Asthma Partnership at Wolfson Children’s Hospital. During the summer of 2009, the foundation hosted four Dance Trance fitness classes with all proceeds going to Seamark Ranch, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, the Cathedral Arts Project and the American Cancer Society's R.O.C.K. program. More information about the foundation is available at www.jackdelriofoundation.com.
In addition to the work of their foundation, the Del Rio family has been extremely active in Jacksonville since arriving in 2003. Together they have been instrumental in raising and distributing money for numerous organizations. The family supports the American Cancer Society, is a member of The Laureate Society of Jacksonville and volunteers and supports the Communita Cenacolo in St. Augustine.
The Del Rios raised funds for the Seamark Ranch through sales of the JagNet Cookbook and through the Jack Del Rio Charity Golf Classic. A list of organizations and events the family has supported includes the American Cancer Society Relay for Life, Freedom Alliance Fund, Wolfson Children’s Hospital, St. Jude Children’s Hospital, St. Vincent’s Hospital, Leukemia Lymphoma Society, Families First, The Salvation Army, Cystic Fibrosis, The Ronald McDonald House, Devereaux Day School, St. Catherine Laboure Manor, and Hubbard House. Del Rio has participated in the Murray Brothers Caddyshack Charity Golf Tournament in St. Augustine to benefit St. Vincent’s Foundation Mobile Health Outreach Ministry and Brave Kids. In 2010, Del Rio supported the fund raising efforts of NBA star Chris Paul of the New Orleans Hornets by participating in the annual Chris Paul PBA Celebrity Invitational. The “pro-am” style bowling event aired on ESPN Super Bowl Sunday and the proceeds benefitted Paul’s CP3 Foundation.
In 2007 Del Rio was named to the University of North Florida Brooks College of Health Dean’s Council. In addition, Del Rio supports numerous charities in his hometown of Hayward, Calif., and New Orleans, La., where he spent time as a player and coach for the Saints. He serves as honorary chairman for the Hayward High Football Alumni Golf Tournament, an effort headed by a group of former Hayward High School players for the purpose of supporting the academic and athletic development of the young men. The group has raised funds to pay for a new weight room, uniforms, and team travel to road games while also supporting the academic development of members of the football team through establishment of a study hall and tutoring program.
HONORS: In January, 2010, Coach Del Rio was awarded the NCAA Silver Anniversary Award. This honor is given each year to six former student-athletes on the 25th anniversary of their college graduation who have achieved personal distinction in their post-collegiate lives and careers.
College: Linebacker, Southern California 1981-84. Pro Career: Linebacker, New Orleans Saints 1985-86, Kansas City Chiefs 1987-88, Dallas Cowboys 1989-91, Minnesota Vikings 1992-95. Pro coach: New Orleans Saints 1997-98, Baltimore Ravens 1999-2001, Carolina Panthers 2002, Jacksonville Jaguars (head coach) 2003-10.