ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — The Denver Broncos on Monday named Defensive Coordinator Jack Del Rio as the team’s interim head coach, Executive Vice President of Football Operations John Elway announced. Del Rio will serve as interim head coach in addition to maintaining his current duties as defensive coordinator while Head Coach John Fox recovers from a medical procedure.
Del Rio, who spent nine years as head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars from 2003-11, has 17 years of NFL coaching experience and is in his second season with the Broncos. Hired by Denver on Feb. 6, 2012, as defensive coordinator, Del Rio has helped the Broncos’ defense rank sixth in the NFL in total yards per game (320.7), first in yards per rush (3.5) and 10th in both points per game (21.1) and takeaways (40) in 24 games.
In his third year as an NFL defensive coordinator, Del Rio also worked in that capacity under Fox with Carolina in 2002. That season, he took the NFL’s worst defense in terms of yards per game allowed and turned it into the league’s No. 2-ranked unit before being hired as head coach of the Jaguars the next year.
As head coach for Jacksonville, Del Rio posted a 69-73 (.486) overall record and led the club to two playoff appearances (2005, ’07). He guided the Jaguars to their second-best record in club history in 2005 with a 12-4 mark before helping the franchise to its first playoff win in eight seasons with a 31-29 road victory against the Pittsburgh Steelers in a 2007 AFC Wild Card Game.
Del Rio began his coaching career with the New Orleans Saints, serving as an assistant strength coach in 1997 before moving on to coach the linebackers in 1998.
He also spent three seasons (1999-2001) coaching linebackers for the Baltimore Ravens, helping the club to a victory in Super Bowl XXXV during the 2000 season.
A veteran of 11 seasons as an NFL linebacker with New Orleans (1985-86), Kansas City (1987-88), Dallas (1989-91) and Minnesota (1992-95), Del Rio was selected in the third round (68th overall) of the 1985 NFL Draft by the Saints. He totaled 1,078 tackles, 12 sacks and 13 interceptions during his NFL career and was named to the Pro Bowl in 1994 with the Vikings.
A four-year starting linebacker at the University of Southern California, Del Rio attended Hayward (Calif.) High School, where he starred in football, baseball and basketball.
He and his wife, Linda, have three daughters (Lauren, Hope and Aubrey) and a son, Luke, who is a true freshman quarterback at the University of Alabama.
Del Rio becomes the 15th individual to serve as head coach of the Broncos and the fifth to do so on an interim basis.