Coaching Arcs: Jack Del Rio

Jack Del Rio Coaching Arc Header

With only 32 head coaching positions available in the National Football League, ascending to the top of the organization as head coach isn’t an easy task. Less a gift and earned more through graft, every current head coach boasts a unique story to how they crafted their resume.

Jack Del Rio is one of 32 head coaches in the NFL today. How did he get there? We took a look at his path to securing one of the most elusive jobs on the market and where his current team is heading.

Early Days

Jack Del Rio began his affiliation with the NFL as a player. He played college football at the University of Southern California as a linebacker and was ultimately drafted 68th overall by the New Orleans Saints. He would only play there for two years before making his way to Kansas City. Del Rio would play three seasons for the Dallas Cowboys and four for the Minnesota Vikings before hanging up his cleats for the clipboard.

Beginning of Coaching Career

Jack Del Rio made the transition from player to coach when he was 34 years old. He joined Mike Ditka’s staff as the strength and conditioning coach for the New Orleans Saints. After two seasons in the “Big Easy,” he headed up Baltimore and the defensive side of the ball to take the job of linebackers coach for the Ravens. With Brian Billick, Del Rio would earn his first Super Bowl Championship ring in 2000. While Del Rio was still there, Baltimore would also advance to the division round of the 2001 playoffs, losing to the Steelers 27-10.

Given the reputation of the Ravens defense, Del Rio parlayed his experience into a defensive coordinator role with the Carolina Panthers. It would only take one season working under John Fox in Carolina for someone to come knocking at Del Rio’s door to offer him a head coaching role.

Timeline of Jack Del Rio's Career in the NFL

Jacksonville Jaguars

Jack Del Rio would get his first swing at being a head coach in the NFL in Jacksonville, Florida. He succeeded Tom Coughlin, the franchise’s first ever head coach, who orchestrated three losing seasons in a row (2000, 7-9; 2001, 6-10; 2002, 6-10). Although Del Rio struggled during his first season – with the Jaguars achieving an 5-11 record – he navigated his way to successive winning seasons (2004, 9-7; 2005, 12-4) and a trip to the playoffs in 2005. The Jaguars would lose to the New England Patriots 28-3.

While Del Rio earned his best win total in 2005, his best season came in 2007, when the Jaguars achieved an 11-5 record. In the postseason, they beat the Pittsburgh Steelers in the wild card round 31-29, but ultimately lost to the Patriots (again) 31-20 in the divisional playoff round. With two .500 seasons (8-8), four losing seasons, and three winning seasons, the Jacksonville ownership had seen enough. Jack Del Rio was relieved as the head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars 11 games into the 2011 season.

Oakland Raiders

After parting ways with the Jacksonville Jaguars, Del Rio joined Denver Broncos head coach John Fox’s staff as the defensive coordinator. He bided his time in Mile High for three seasons – going to the Super Bowl in 2013 – before heading to the Oakland Raiders, replacing interim head coach Tony Sparano. Although the 2015 Oakland Raiders ended up finishing third in the AFC West, behind the Denver Broncos and Kansas City Chiefs, four Pro Bowlers would help form a foundation for Del Rio to build upon in 2016: quarterback Derek Carr, running back Latavius Murray, wide receiver Amari Cooper, and defensive end Khalil Mack.

With the 2016 regular season completed, the Oakland Raiders are headed to the postseason while Del Rio’s former employer, the Denver Broncos, will be watching the playoffs from the couch. He’s marshaled the team toward a 12-4 record claiming the #5 Wild Card seed in the AFC. What remains to be seen is if the Raiders will be able to cope without Derek Carr, who suffered a broken fibula in week 16. This will be the biggest test of Del Rio’s coaching legacy to date: Is he able to bring the Oakland Raiders to the Super Bowl with their MVP-caliber QB sidelined?

Del Rio Grande

Jack Del Rio is just one of 32 lucky individuals – a head coach in the NFL. These jobs don’t come around often, and he’s been fortunate enough to get two shots at it with the Jacksonville Jaguars and Oakland Raiders. Want to show off your Raiders pride and root Del Rio deep into the playoffs? Head to for the best officially licensed merchandise and apparel for all fans of Raider Nation.


The Evolution of the Oakland Raiders Logo


Oakland Origins

Since their inception, the Oakland Raiders have been riddled with controversy. After the Minneapolis-St. Paul franchise in the AFL defected to become the organization now known as the Minnesota Vikings, the gap in the AFL led to an Oakland group grabbing the spot – inheriting the team’s draft spot. Eddie Erdelatz served as the Raiders first head coach, but experienced a rough beginning due to the lack of an adequate stadium and crippling fan base.

For their initial name, the Oakland Tribune – a local newspaper company – held a name-the-team contest, which resulted in the handle The Oakland Señors. Considering Oakland hosted a large Hispanic community, the name seemed fitting until speculations came about that the principal owner, Chet Soda, fixed the contest. The organization would later scrap the Señors alias, opting for the third-place winner in the contest – The Oakland Raiders.

The Team of Decades

The Men in Black are currently a part of the NFL’s American Football Conference West alongside the Kansas City Chiefs, Denver Broncos, and San Diego Chargers. Appearing in the Super Bowl a total of five times, the Raiders captured their first Lombardi Trophy in the 1976-77 season after downing the Minnesota Vikings (32-14). Two subsequent championship victories would follow – first in the 1980-81 season against the Philadelphia Eagles (27-10) and again in the 1983-84 season during their time in Los Angeles.

This Oakland-based squad is known for recruiting some of the league’s top talent to their all-time roster. Franchise greats such as Ken Stabler and Marcus Allen have left their mark on the Raiders as the all-time passing and rushing leaders, respectively. John Madden spent his entire 10-year coaching career leading the team to success. Under the direction of the franchise’s most winningest coach (103-32-7), the Madden-led Raiders acquired their first Super Bowl victory.

Read on to see how the #RaiderNation has modified their iconic Raider logo throughout the past 57 seasons in the NFL.

Notable Logo Changes


The Raiders have used a total of five logos throughout their time in the NFL, with three logos remaining the same when the franchise transferred between cities – Oakland to Los Angeles and back to Oakland. Team colors are represented by a black, white, and silver color palette. The team’s famed emblem consists of a raider, or pirate, wearing a football helmet with two cutlasses crossed behind him. The raider head was reportedly modeled after American film actor Randolph Scott’s face. For over 50 years, the iconic Raiders head would experience minor modifications and remain consistent with the original design.

1960–1962: For their first logo, the team features a black, white, and gold colorway. The design displays the franchise’s iconic raider head overlaid on a gold football. Two crossed swords with gold handles are placed behind the football, outlined by black trim.

1963: The Raiders ditch the gold color, opting for a silver hue. This season’s logo features the Raider head with two swords crossed behind it and is placed on top of a black-and-silver shield. “The Oakland Raiders” wordmark sits above the raider’s head in a block-style font.

1964–1981: During this time period, the team simplifies their logo. The shield is modified and only utilizes black. The raider head and crossed swords undergo a significant facelift, and the wordmark ditches the city’s name – only featuring “Raiders” in white font.

1982–1994: The team relocates to Los Angeles but maintains the same brand image – staying loyal to their initial fan base. The Raiders move from the Oakland Coliseum to the Los Angeles Coliseum – a more spacious arena. After just 12 seasons, the team moves back to Oakland, abandoning their Southern California lifestyle.

1995–2016: Back in Oakland, the Raiders find a place to call home in the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum – which seats approximately 63,000 fans in full attendance. The franchise’s logo remains untouched with their famed raider head and crossed cutlasses sitting inside a black shield with white wordmark.

Road to Raiders

The Raiders are currently dominating the AFC West and are shaping up to be quite the playoff team. Are you a part of the #RaiderNation? Pledge your support to the silver and black by rockin’ the latest fan gear and merchandise. Head over to – they’ve got you covered from either end of the field with the hottest jerseys and memorabilia in the game!


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