Owner Wayne Weaver, who took a chance on Del Rio when he gave the former NFL linebacker his first head-coaching position in the league in 2003, said it was more than just the lofty 40-24 record that the Jaguars have posted in the past four years, the sixth best mark in the NFL for that time period.
"The thing I am most excited about is what Jack and his staff have done in terms of fostering an environment that has created an attitude with our players that they really have an expectation to win," Weaver said. "They believe that they can compete at the very highest level. I think what it does, it creates a stability and continuity that moves us closer to my commitment to this community and Jack's commitment to bringing a championship to Jacksonville."
The new agreement is for five years and includes the final year of Del Rio's current contract plus four additional years, through the 2012 season. Neither Weaver nor Del Rio would discuss the financial terms of the new deal.
Del Rio's name had been tied to rumors about college positions at both LSU and Southern California when reports surfaced that current USC coach Pete Carroll was looking to get back to the NFL. Del Rio was a standout linebacker for the Trojans from 1981-84, earning All-America honors as a senior and finishing runner-up in voting for the Lombardi Award that year.
Del Rio has left little doubt that his sole purpose on the field is to get the Jaguars into the playoffs every year and eventually into the Super Bowl.
"I told Wayne when we first got here, the key is to build a strong football team that can get into the playoffs on a yearly basis and contend for a world championship," Del Rio said. "By getting in, you give yourself a chance. Then you have to play your best football. I really do feel that there is something very special taking place here in Jacksonville right now.
"We're going to continue to bring the strongest coaching staff together that we can and the strongest group of players that we can. But I think the biggest thing is the culture we've been able to create, one of an unselfish, team-first approach. It's something I believe in. I think last year was our best season in terms of approaching what I'm looking for in that regard. We're just going to continue to add to that process and work it the same way."
Del Rio has compiled a 45-35 record in five seasons as the Jaguars' head coach. There are 15 head coaches currently in the NFL that have coached five or more seasons and Del Rio's record in his first five seasons is tied for the fifth during that time. In addition, Del Rio is entering his sixth season at the helm, which is tied for the ninth-longest tenure among active head coaches.
Del Rio's Agreement
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