It's Official

Despite announcing a contract extension for Dick Jauron in late February the Bears head coach didn't actually sign the deal until May.

It's been over two months since Chicago announced Jauron had signed a three-year contract to remain with the team through 2004. He now has a deal that expires concurrently with those of general manager Jerry Angelo and Bears President Ted Phillips.

Much of the dispute in the negotiations stemmed from control over rosters and assistant coaches. The power was divided between coach and GM with Jauron having the power to hire and fire his assistants, while Angelo has the final say on the 53-man roster.

Offensive coordinator John Shoop remains the lone assistant without an agreed-to extension, but he and the team expect an extension to be worked out before the start of training camp in July.

When Angelo was hired as the Bears first GM since the eighties there a lot speculation that Jauron would be fired, unless the team improved rapidly. Jauron guided the Bears to a 13-3 season on his way to being named the NFL Coach of the Year.

Jauron's three-year regular-season record is 24-24. The 24 wins place him behind George Halas (324), Mike Ditka (112), Dave Wannstedt (41) and Neill Armstrong (30) among Bears coaches.


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