Defensive Coordinator, Denver Broncos
Jack Del Rio, who served as the Jacksonville Jaguars’ head coach from 2003-11, is in his first season as defensive coordinator for the Denver Broncos in 2012. He was named to his current position on Feb. 6, 2012.
A coaching veteran of 15 seasons in addition to an 11-year playing career as an NFL linebacker, Del Rio will serve as defensive coordinator for the second time under Head Coach John Fox, as the two spent the 2002 season together in Carolina.
Del Rio’s defenses have ranked in the Top Six in the NFL in yards per game allowed in eight of his 14 seasons as a position coach, coordinator or head coach. During that time, he coached 11 players to a total of 19 Pro Bowl selections, including All-Pros such as linebackers Peter Boulware and Ray Lewis, defensive tackles John Henderson, Kris Jenkins and Marcus Stroud, and cornerback Rashean Mathis.
Over the span of his nine seasons in Jacksonville, the Jaguars 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 contests on the ground throughout his tenure to rank sixth in the league.
Under Del Rio, the Jaguars made two playoff appearances from 2005-07, 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 No. 2-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 Ravens from 1999-2001, Del Rio tutored a talented group that included Boulware, 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 drafted 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 in three consecutive years and was selected to participate in the Pro Bowl during the 1994 season. For his career, he played 160 games (128 starts) in the regular season and totaled 1,078 tackles, 12 sacks and 13 interceptions.
He 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.
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 was invited to the prestigious Elite 11 Quarterback Camp in 2012 and has committed to play football at Oklahoma State University.