Another Raiders alum has traded in his team gear for a suit and tie. Former Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio has joined ESPN as an on-air analyst. He will appear on several ESPN programs including NFL Live, SportsCenter, and ESPN Radio with other appearances planned throughout the year. He makes his debut on NFL Live Friday, Aug. 16.
Del Rio took over as Raiders head coach following Dennis Allen and interim head coach Tony Sparano. In Del Rio’s second season in Oakland in 2016, the Raiders made the playoffs for the first time in 14 years.
The Hayward native grew up a Raiders fan with his parents as longtime season ticket holders. Becoming Raiders head coach was a dream fulfilled for him. He had received a 2-year contract extension through 2021 following his playoff season, but after the Raiders faltered in 2017, largely due to an offense that struggled under new offensive coordinator Todd Downing, Jon Gruden offered to return to coaching and Mark Davis jumped at the chance.
Del Rio was fired minutes after losing the season finale against the Chargers and Gruden was announced as the new head coach shortly therafter.
So, after two stints as an NFL head coach over 12 seasons with the Jaguars (9) and Raiders (3), the former linebackers coach and defensive coordinator opted not to take a step back to being a coordinator or position coach and instead took his talents to TV.