Jack Del Rio has a Mile High mission…
The 50-year-old half-Mexican American football coach, the current defensive coordinator for the Denver Broncos, has been named the team’s interim head coach.
Del Rio will be filling in for head coach John Fox, who will be taking a leave of absence to recover from surgery to replace a valve in his heart.
The announcement doesn’t come as much of a surprise to many inside the organization given Del Rio’s experience. He served as the head coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars for nine seasons until he was fired with five games remaining in the 2011 season.
Del Rio was 69-73 in Jacksonville and he led the Jaguars to playoffs twice as a wild card team.
Del Rio is expected to maintain play-calling duties with the defense while he is the interim coach.
“I sincerely appreciate all of the support from friends, Denver Broncos fans and so many around the league today,” Fox said in a statement released by the team Saturday night. “Although I am disappointed I must take some time away from the team to attend to this pre-existing health condition, I understand that it’s the right thing to do. I have great confidence in our coaches and players, who are fully committed to our goals.
“I look forward to returning to coaching as soon as possible.”
Del Rio joined Fox’s staff for the 2012 season after Dennis Allen departed to become the Oakland Raiders‘ coach. Del Rio helped push the Broncos to the No. 4 scoring defense last season, the No. 2 defense in terms of yards allowed per game.