OAKLAND (CBS SF) – After a lengthy search, it appears the Oakland Raiders have found their next head coach.
According to ESPN, sources tell NFL reporter Chris Mortensen that the team is closing in on naming Denver Broncos defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio as their next head coach.
Del Rio was interviewed for the second time on Tuesday night, with Raiders owner Mark Davis, general manager Reggie McKenzie and former coach John Madden all reportedly sitting down with him.
Del Rio grew up in the Bay Area and has previous head coaching experience in the NFL. He coached the Jacksonville Jaguars from 2003 to 2011, twice leading the team to the playoffs. Interestingly, Del Rio was hired by the Broncos after Dennis Allen left to become the Raiders head coach. Allen was fired last year.
The Broncos finished No. 3 in total defense this season under Del Rio’s watch. Many close to Del Rio said the Oakland job is one he covets because of his ties to the Bay Area. He grew up in the East Bay and was a standout athlete at Hayward High School. He also grew up as a Raiders fan, as his family are long-time season-ticket holders.
Tony Sparano, who finished out the 2014 season as the Raiders interim head coach, was also believed to be a leading candidate for the job. He coached the final 12 games of the season and led the Raiders to a 3-9 mark. Many Raiders players openly campaigned for Sparano to keep the job, including veteran defensive players Antonio Smith and Justin Tuck.
Oakland has had eight head coaches since the start of the 2003 season and the team has not had a winning record or earned a playoff berth in that span.
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