The Oakland Raiders have officially hired hometown boy Jack Del Rio to try to end the misery that has saddled the franchise for most of this century, it was announced Thursday.
Del Rio, a former head coach in Jacksonville and who was the defensive coordinator in Denver the past three seasons, is the 21st head coach in team history and will be formally introduced Friday in a news conference at the team’s headquarters in Alameda, Calif.
“After a thorough interview and evaluation process, we are excited to announce Jack Del Rio as the head coach of the Oakland Raiders,” owner Mark Davis said in a statement. “I have no doubt that he will make a significant impact and help reach the goal of everyone in this building, which is to win championships.”
ESPN broke the news of Del Rio’s agreement with the Raiders on Wednesday.
Del Rio is from the East Bay and went to Hayward High, which also produced Hall of Fame coach Bill Walsh. Del Rio’s family are long-time Raiders season ticket holders, and it was known in NFL circles that Del Rio had long coveted the Oakland job.
He had his second interview with Davis, general manager Reggie McKenzie and former Raiders coach John Madden, the Hall of Famer who has been a proponent of Del Rio.
Del Rio brings head-coaching experience, which Davis covets. In 2012, McKenzie hired Dennis Allen, who hadn’t any head-coaching experience and he went 8-20 as Oakland’s coach before being fired in September.
Davis led the coaching search this time around.
The Raiders are hoping Del Rio can change the team’s fortunes. Oakland has won a total of 11 games over the past three seasons and hasn’t had a winning season since 2002.
“Jack Del Rio brings a strong leadership presence to this organization,” McKenzie said in a statement. “He has developed an excellent reputation as a coach in this league and we are happy that he is a Raider.”
Del Rio, who will be the Raiders’ ninth head coach since 2003, had a 68-71 record in Jacksonville from 2003 to 2011, and he twice guided the Jaguars to the playoffs, where he was 1-2.
He also had a 3-1 record as Denver’s interim coach in 2013 when head coach John Fox was dealing with health issues.