Jacksonville Jaguars Coach Jack Del Rio

Celebrities, Celebrity Q&A, People
on September 14, 2003

I'd like to know more about Jack Del Rio, the new head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguar football team.
—Jack S., Pennsylvania

The 39-year-old Del Rio was a baseball hero in high school and was drafted as a catcher by the Toronto Blue Jays when he graduated. He opted for college, attending the University of Southern California, where his baseball teammates included Randy Johnson and Mark McGwire. But Del Rio also excelled as a football player at USC, where his skill as linebacker earned him All-American honors in his senior year. He went on to an 11-year NFL career, first with the New Orleans Saints, then the Kansas City Chiefs (where he finished his college education, earning a degree in political science from the University of Kansas), then the Dallas Cowboys, finishing his playing days with the Minnesota Vikings. As a player, he wasn't afraid to speak out when something upset him, and he gained attention for criticizing Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. He moved into coaching in 1997, returning to work with the Saints as assistant strength coach and moving into linebacker coach the following year. He went on to work with the Baltimore Ravens as linebacker coach, helping the team win the Super Bowl in 2000, and then to a job as defensive coordinator for the Carolina Panthers. Del Rio won the job as head coach of the Jaguars over many men with more years of experience—he's the second-youngest head coach in the NFL. He's also a real family man who has said he'd love to eliminate training camp because it takes him away from his wife, Linda, and their four children.