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Who is Ron Rivera?

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ronald Eugene Rivera (born January 7, 1962) is the head coach for the Carolina Panthers of the NFL. Rivera was a member of the 1985 Chicago Bears, who won Super Bowl XX. Rivera was the defensive coordinator for the 2006 Chicago Bears, who won the National Football Conference championship and competed in Super Bowl XLI.

Rivera learned under coaches who favor aggressive defensive philosophies, such as Buddy Ryan, Jim Johnson and Lovie Smith. He used to employ the 4-3 defensive scheme, but adopted a 3-4 defense as Chargers defensive coordinator.

Rivera was born in Fort Ord, California. His father was a Puerto Rican commissioned officer in the United States Army stationed in California. There he met his future wife, Rivera’s mother of Mexican heritage. As a result of his father’s military service, Rivera had to travel and was educated in military bases in Germany, Panama, Washington, D.C., and Maryland. Finally his family moved to central California. There, he attended Seaside High School, where he first started playing football.

Rivera was granted a college scholarship and played for the Golden Bears at the University of California, Berkeley. He was an All-American linebacker who once held his school’s all-time sack and career tackles records. Rivera still holds the Cal record for most tackles for loss in a season, which he set in 1983.

In the 1984 NFL Draft, Rivera was selected in the second round by the Chicago Bears, becoming the first Puerto Rican/Mexican to play in the NFL. During the 1985 Season, Rivera played in Super Bowl XX, where the Bears beat the New England Patriots, 46-10. He thus became the first Puerto Rican to play on a Super Bowl Championship Team. Rivera played for the Bears for a total of nine seasons (1984–1992).

In 1993, Rivera went to work for a WGN-TV and SportsChannel in Chicago as a TV analyst covering the Bears and college football. In 1996, he became a defense quality control coach for the Bears.

In 1999, Rivera was named linebackers coach for the Philadelphia Eagles. During his tenure the Eagles advanced to the NFC Championship for three consecutive seasons. He is credited with developing linebacker Jeremiah Trotter into a two-time Pro Bowl performer.

On January 23, 2004, Rivera was named the Chicago Bears Defensive Coordinator. In 2005, the Chicago Bears defense was rated second-best in the NFL.[2] The Bears qualified for the NFC playoffs losing in the 2nd Round to the Carolina Panthers 29-21. The 2005 performance of the Chicago Bears earned him consideration for Head Coach assignments from several NFL teams.

In 2006, the Bears’ defensive efforts failed to match the success of their 2005 season. Nevertheless, the team was still a notable presence in league, finishing with the league’s third ranked and conference’s top-ranked points allowed category.[2] The defense’s success earned Rivera recognition among franchises looking for new head coaches.

The Arizona Cardinals and Pittsburgh Steelers interviewed him in January 2007. He was a candidate for the vacant Dallas Cowboys head coaching position, a job that ultimately went to San Diego Chargers defensive coordinator Wade Phillips. Rivera was named as a potential candidate to replace the fired Marty Schottenheimer in San Diego, but the job was filled by Norv Turner, the brother of fellow offensive coordinator, Ron Turner, Rivera’s offensive counterpart in Chicago. After the announcement, ESPN reported that the Bears were considering letting Rivera go. This came after several other teams interviewed him, and the negotiations between his representatives and the Bears were making little progress. On February 19, 2007, it was announced that Ron Rivera’s contract with the Bears would not be renewed.

The San Diego Chargers hired Rivera as team’s inside linebackers coach after he left the Bears. On October 28, 2008, Rivera was promoted to defensive coordinator with the Chargers after the team released former defensive coordinator Ted Cottrell.


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One Response to “Who is Ron Rivera?”

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