Ron Rivera life and biography

Ron Rivera picture, image, poster

Ron Rivera biography

Date of birth : 1962-01-07
Date of death : -
Birthplace : Fort Ord, California, U.S.
Nationality : American
Category : Sports
Last modified : 2010-09-21
Credited as : Football coach NFL, San Diego Chargers defensive coordinator, Super Bowls

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Ronald Eugene Rivera (born January 7, 1962) was the first American of Puerto Rican/Mexican heritage to play in the National Football League (NFL). Rivera was a member of the 1985 Chicago Bears, who won Super Bowl XX. Rivera was the defensive coordinator for the 2006 Chicago Bears, who won the National Football Conference championship and competed in Super Bowl XLI. He is currently the defensive coordinator for the San Diego Chargers.

Rivera learned under coaches who favor aggressive defensive philosophies, such as Buddy Ryan, Jim Johnson and Lovie Smith. He used to employ the 4-3 defensive scheme, but adopted a 3-4 defense as Chargers defensive coordinator.

Ron Rivera took over as the Chargers’ defensive coordinator at the midpoint of the 2008 season. In his first full season in ’09, the Chargers ranked 16th in total defense and 11th against the pass. One of the unit’s strengths was buckling down after turnovers, yielding only 44 points, a figured that tied New England for the second-lowest in the NFL.

A former Super Bowl Champion linebacker with the Chicago Bears in 1985, this is Rivera’s second stint as a defensive coordinator. From 2004-06, he held the same position with the Bears, and in his last season Chicago led the NFL in takeaways and won the NFC title en route to Super Bowl XLI in Miami. In 2005 and ’06, Rivera’s units ranked second and fifth in the NFL in total defense, respectively. Several Bears, including Brian Urlacher, Lance Briggs, Mike Brown, Nathan Vasher and Tommie Harris all went to Pro Bowls while playing in Rivera’s defense.

Rivera was born in Fort Ord, California. His father was an officer in the United States Army and the family lived in Germany, Panama, Washington and Maryland before settling in Marina, California. He attended Seaside HS in Marina where he was a three-sport star in football, basketball and baseball. As a senior, he was honored with the Golden Helmet Award as the top football player in the Monterey Bay League.

From high school, Rivera had an All-America career at the University of California. He finished his career as the school’s all-time leader in sacks (22) and tackles (336), while also setting a school record for single-season tackles for loss (26.5 in 1983). Rivera was drafted by Chicago in the second round of the 1984 draft and played 149 games with the Bears.

Following his retirement, Rivera spent four years (1993-96) as a television analyst covering the Bears and college football for WGN-TV and SportsChannel Chicago. In 1997 he went back to the Bears to work as the team’s first defensive quality control coach.

Rivera and his wife, Stephanie, have two children, Christopher and Courtney. Stephanie is the varsity girls basketball coach at Cathedral Catholic High School and Courtney is a senior and pitcher on the school’s softball team.

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