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January 28, 2012

BRONCOS AGREE TO TERMS WITH JACK DEL RIO AS DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR; HIRE LUKE RICHESSON AS STRENGTH AND CONDITIONING COACH

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — The Denver Broncos have agreed to terms with Jack Del Rio to become their defensive coordinator and have hired Luke Richesson as strength and conditioning coach, the team announced on Saturday. 

Del Rio
, 48, has 15 seasons of NFL coaching experience, including the last nine years as head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars, in addition to an 11-year professional career as a linebacker.

This is the second time Del Rio has served as defensive coordinator under Fox, as the two spent the 2002 season together in Carolina. He also coached with Baltimore (1999-2001) and New Orleans (1997-98) following his playing career.

During his nine seasons with Jacksonville, he compiled a 68-71 (.489) regular-season record and a 1-2 (.333) mark in the playoffs. His defenses allowed the sixth-fewest yards per game (317.3) in the NFL during his tenure with the Jaguars in addition to surrendering the fifth-fewest first downs per game (17.8) in that span.

As Carolina’s defensive coordinator during Fox’s first year as head coach of the Panthers in 2002, Del Rio inherited the NFL’s last-ranked defense from a 1-15 squad and turned it into the No. 2 unit in the league. In addition to allowing the fifth-fewest points (18.9 ppg) in the NFL in 2002, his defense did not allow a 300-yard passer and did not yield a 100-yard rusher until the season finale.  

He spent three years as linebackers coach with Baltimore, tutoring Pro Bowlers Peter Boulware (1999) and Ray Lewis (1999-2001) and helping the Ravens win Super Bowl XXXV against the New York Giants. Baltimore’s defense in 2000 set the NFL 16-game record for points allowed (165) and Lewis was named the league’s Defensive Player of the Year in addition to Super Bowl MVP.

Del Rio began his coaching career as a strength and conditioning assistant in New Orleans in 1997 under Head Coach Mike Ditka before moving on to coach the Saints’ linebackers in 1998.

Drafted in the third round (68th overall) by the Saints in the 1985 NFL Draft, Del Rio spent 11 years with New Orleans (1985-86), Kansas City (1987-88), Dallas (1989-91) and Minnesota (1992-95). He led the Vikings in tackles three consecutive years and was selected to the Pro Bowl following the 1994 season. He finished his career with 1,078 tackles, 12 sacks and 13 interceptions.

A four-year starter at the University of Southern California, he earned consensus All-America honors as a senior and finished as the runner up for the Lombardi Award.

Richesson
, 37, joins the Broncos as strength and conditioning coach after serving in that capacity for Jacksonville under Del Rio the past three seasons. In his role, he will coordinate the year-round strength and conditioning program for the club.

Prior to joining the Jaguars, he served as the performance team director at Athletes’ Performance in Tempe, Ariz., where he implemented programs to help elite collegiate football prospects prepare for the NFL Combine as well as helping NFL veterans train during the offseason.

He began his career on the coaching staffs at the University of Wyoming (1998) and Arizona State University (1999-2000) after graduating from the University of Kansas with a degree in exercise science while playing football for the Jayhawks.


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