Former Trojan Jack Del Rio Named Head Coach Of Jacksonville Jaguars
Jan. 16, 2003
LOS ANGELES--Former USC All-American linebacker Jack Del Rio has been named head coach of the NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars.
He is USC's first All-American first teamer to be an NFL head coach (Trojans have won All-American first team honors 124 times).
Del Rio also becomes the fourth ex-Trojan player currently serving as an NFL head coach, joining Tennessee's Jeff Fisher, Seattle's Mike Holmgren and the New York Giants' Jim Fassel.
The 39-year-old Del Rio, who was the Carolina Panthers' defensive coordinator this past season, is now the second-youngest head coach in the NFL (just a few months older than Tampa Bay's Jon Gruden). In his first season as a defensive coordinator, Del Rio inherited a Panthers' defense that statistically ranked 32nd (last) in the league in 2001 and rose all the way to No. 2 in 2002.
He was an NFL assistant for six seasons. He began his coaching career with New Orleans in 1997, then moved to Baltimore in 1999 before being hired by Carolina last year.
Del Rio played 11 seasons with New Orleans (1985-86), Kansas City (1987-88), Dallas (1989-91) and Minnesota (1992-95), and was a Pro Bowl selection in 1994. During his career he had 1,078 tackles and, between 1989 and 1994, he started more than 100 straight games.
At USC, he earned consensus All-American honors as a senior in 1984. He also won the Pop Warner Award and was the runnerup for the Lombardi Award in 1984. He was Co-MVP of the 1985 Rose Bowl (a Trojan win over Ohio State). He also starred on USC's baseball team.