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Officially Official: Ron Rivera announced as Redskins Head Coach

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NFL: Carolina Panthers-Training Camp Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Redskins today announced Ron Rivera as the team’s new head coach. The announcement follows a host of unofficial reports that had been published in recent days saying that the team and the former Panthers head coach had reached agreement.

Dan Snyder got his man! Ron Rivera became the Redskins clear target for their open head coaching job as soon as the season ended on Sunday. The rumors intensified, and after a visit to the DC area early this week, Rivera is the new head coach of the Washington Redskins.

Rivera was fired by the Carolina Panthers during his 9th season with the team. He ended his tenure there with a 79-67-1 record including the postseason.

Rivera is the first defensive minded head coach Dan Snyder has hired, and will bring the return of the 4-3 defense that Snyder and a lot of fans want. It has been widely reported that Rivera will bring long-time NFL coach Jack Del Rio with him to be the Redskins defensive coordinator, replacing Greg Manusky. There has been no word yet on other coaching changes.

Rivera will also reportedly have more say in personnel than other coaches have had under Snyder. Marty Schottenheimer and Mike Shanahan were previously given more personnel control, but that was short-lived. This week, however, the reports that Director of Pro Player Personnel, Alex Santos has been relieved of his duties and that long-time Redskins executive vice president of football operations, Eric Schaffer, will be leaving in May, after the draft, lend a certain amount of credibility to the current reports.

Dan Snyder reportedly took charge of the coaching search personally, involving a number of other people, all of them outside the Redskins organization, and moved quickly to secure a commitment from Coach Rivera.

“After several meetings with Coach Rivera, it was clear he is the right person to bring winning football back to Washington D.C.,” said Dan Snyder, Washington Redskins Owner. “He is widely respected around the league as a man of great integrity and has proven to be one of the finest coaches in the country.”

With more than 20 years of coaching experience, Rivera is a passionate and skilled leader who has earned the respect of his players, coaching staff and the community. He most recently served as the head coach of the Carolina Panthers for nine seasons, where he led the team to three straight divisional titles and an appearance in Super Bowl 50. Rivera was also recognized twice as the NFL Coach of the Year by the Associated Press, in 2013 and in 2015.

“While I love the storied history of the franchise, I am focused on the future and excited for the opportunity to win football games with this talented young team,” said Rivera. “After meeting Dan Snyder, it was clear we are aligned in our passion for the game and he supports my vision to turn the team around. I look forward to surrounding myself with great people and getting to work.”

Rivera began his NFL career as a linebacker for the Chicago Bears in 1984 and became a Super Bowl champion in his second season when the Bears beat the New England Patriots 46–10 in Super Bowl XX. Following nine seasons as a player, Rivera went on to be a TV analyst covering the Bears and college football. Rivera began his coaching career in 1996, ultimately serving on the coaching staffs of the Chicago Bears, Philadelphia Eagles, San Diego Chargers and Carolina Panthers where he earned the respect of players, coaches and fans alike thanks to his football prowess and his dedication to his players, both on and off the field.

In college, Rivera was a consensus All-American linebacker, at the University of California Berkeley, leading the Golden Bears in tackles in his last three years. He once held Cal’s all-time sack and career tackles records and still holds the record for most tackles for loss in a season, set in 1983. Rivera was inducted into the Cal Sports Hall of Fame in 1994.

An introductory press conference will be held on Thursday, January 2nd at 2:00 p.m. at the Team Auditorium Inova Sports Performance Center at Redskins Park.

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