The Washington Redskins officially named Ron Rivera as head coach Wednesday and hired Jack Del Rio as his defensive coordinator.
“After several meetings with Coach Rivera, it was clear he is the right person to bring winning football back to Washington, D.C.,” Redskins owner Dan Snyder said. “He is widely respected around the league as a man of great integrity and has proven to be one of the finest coaches in the country.”
Rivera has more than 20 years of coaching experience, including most of the past nine seasons as head coach of the Carolina Panthers.
Rivera, who turns 58 on Jan. 7, was fired by Carolina on Dec. 3 after a loss — to the Redskins — dropped the Panthers to 5-7. His tenure in Charlotte included a 76-63-1 record, four playoff appearances and an appearance in Super Bowl 50. He was named the NFL’s Coach of the Year in 2013 and 2015.
Rivera replaces interim coach Bill Callahan, who finished the season after Jay Gruden was fired following an 0-5 start. The Redskins haven’t been to the playoffs since 2015 and haven’t won a Super Bowl since the 1991 season.
“While I love the storied history of the franchise, I am focused on the future and excited for the opportunity to win football games with this talented young team,” said Rivera, who will be introduced at a press conference Thursday. “After meeting Dan Snyder, it was clear we are aligned in our passion for the game and he supports my vision to turn the team around. I look forward to surrounding myself with great people and getting to work.”
He named his first assistant Wednesday, hiring former NFL head coach Del Rio to lead his defense.
Del Rio, 56, was head coach for 12 seasons with the Oakland Raiders (2015-17) and Jacksonville Jaguars (2003-11). He compiled a 93-94 record with three playoff appearances.
The former NFL linebacker was the defensive coordinator for coach John Fox with both the Panthers in 2002 and the Denver Broncos from 2012-14.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that Rivera plans to interview incumbent offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell for the same position.
According to multiple reports, Callahan will not be retained by Rivera in his old position of offensive line coach, and most of the defensive staff also will be let go.
Callahan, 63, is regarded as one of the top O-line coaches in the league, having coached strong units with the New York Jets (2008-11), Dallas Cowboys (2012-14) and Redskins (2015-19).
–Field Level Media