ALAMEDA, Calif. — The Oakland Raiders hired Denver Broncos defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio as their new head coach Wednesday in hopes that the Bay Area native who grew up cheering for the Raiders can return the team to its glory days.
A person with knowledge of the deal confirmed on condition of anonymity that Del Rio signed a four-year deal to replace interim coach Tony Sparano. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because an announcement had not been made. ESPN first reported the hiring.
Del Rio becomes Oakland’s ninth head coach since the start of the 2003 season. The Raiders have the NFL’s worst record in that span, having failed to produce a single winning season or playoff berth.
Del Rio replaces Sparano, who was elevated from offensive line coach during the past season to replace the fired Dennis Allen and had hoped to keep the job. Oakland went 3-9 under Sparano after losing the first four games under Allen.
This marks the second straight time the Raiders hired a Denver defensive coordinator as their coach. Allen spent one year running the Broncos defense before being hired in 2012. He went 8-28 before getting fired last season.
Del Rio has been defensive coordinator in Denver for the past three seasons, helping the Broncos win three straight AFC West titles.
Denver ranked third in total defense and tied for 16th in scoring defense this past season. The Broncos were third in total defense and 10th in scoring defense in Del Rio’s three years with the team.
Before that, he was head coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars for nine seasons. Del Rio had a 68-71 regular-season record with the Jaguars and made the playoffs in 2005 and 2007, winning one playoff game in his second postseason trip. He was fired with five games remaining in the 2011 season.
The other candidates who interviewed for the job were former Raiders, Denver and Washington Redskins coach Mike Shanahan, Philadelphia Eagles offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur, San Francisco 49ers tight ends coach Eric Mangini, Seattle Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell and Indianapolis offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton.
Thumbnail photo via Chris Humphreys/USA TODAY Sports Images
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