Jauron Named Coach of the Year

Lake Forest, IL-Chicago Bears head coach Dick Jauron was named the Associated Press Coach of the Year Jan. 19, after leading the Bears to its first NFC Central title since 1990 and its first playoff appearance sine 1994. The award marks the fifth time a Bears coach has won the honor but only the third coach, joining two-time winners George Halas (1963 and 1965) and Mike Ditka (1985 And 1988).

Although, Jauron shoulder much of the blame for the Bears struggles the last two seasons he shared his honor with the team.

"Any individual awards are flattering, but I'd accept them for the football players and staff first and foremost as well as the whole organization," Jauron said.

Jauron, in just his third season with the Bears, led Chicago to a regular season record of 13-3, becoming just the third head coach in the 81-year history of the Bears franchise to lead his team to 13 wins in a season, a feat previously only accomplished by Halas and Ditka (1934, 13-0; 1985, 15-1; 1986, 14-2). Jauron also improves his career record to 24-24.

In recording 13 wins this season the Bears improved by eight games in the win column from last season, the third best turnaround in the NFL since 1978, improving from 5-11 to 13-3 in 2001.

Earlier this season, he led Chicago to a six-game win streak for the first time since 1990 and a sweep of three NFC Central foes for the first time since 1991 (Minnesota, Tampa Bay and Detroit).

Jauron was named the 12th head coach in Chicago Bears history on January 24, 1999, following four seasons as defensive coordinator of the Jacksonville Jaguars. He is a 25-year veteran of the NFL as a player and coach and played a major role in Jacksonville's rise from expansion team to division champion and Super Bowl contender.

Prior to joining the Jaguars, Jauron spent nine seasons in Green Bay as the Packers' defensive backs coach. He worked under Forrest Gregg (1986-87), Lindy Infante (1988-91) and Mike Holmgren (1992-94). Jauron was on Green Bay's staff with Jacksonville head coach Tom Coughlin in 1986-87, and he is the sixth member of Holmgren's original staff to earn a NFL head coaching position. The others are Ray Rhodes (defensive coordinator, four years at Philadelphia, one year at Green Bay), Jon Gruden (wide receivers, Oakland), Steve Mariucci (quarterbacks, San Francisco), Andy Reid ("tight ends/quarterbacks, Philadelphia), Mike Sherman (tight ends, Green Bay) and Marty Mornhinweg (quarterbacks, Detroit). Jauron's NFL coaching career began in 1985 with the Buffalo Bills, where he served one season as Hank Bullough's secondary coach.

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