Jack Del Rio, the Jacksonville Jaguars' head coach for the past nine seasons, was dismissed today by Jaguars owner Wayne Weaver. Defensive coordinator Mel Tucker was named interim head coach for the remainder of the 2011 season.
Del Rio, 48, was named head coach in 2003 and was only the second head coach in the franchise's 17-season history. He posted a 68-71 regular season record and was 1-2 in the postseason. The Jaguars advanced to the playoffs in 2005 and 2007 under Del Rio.
Tucker, 39, is in his third season with the Jaguars after being named defensive coordinator in January of 2009. This is Tucker's 15th year in coaching including eight seasons at the collegiate level and seven in the NFL.
The defense has been a strength for the Jaguars this season, currently ranking fourth in the NFL and fourth in pass defense and scoring defense. The unit has been in the top 10 in rankings in 11 of the first 12 weeks of this season, including the top five for the past four weeks. The Jaguars are one of 14 teams to have a better defensive ranking through 12 weeks in 2011 compared to the end of the 2010 season, when the club finished 28th in the league.
Tucker previously spent four seasons on the Cleveland Browns coaching staff (2005-08), the first three as defensive backs coach and the last as defensive coordinator. His eight years coaching at the college level were spent at Michigan State, Miami (Ohio), Louisiana State and Ohio State.
As an assistant coach, Tucker worked under head coach Nick Saban for three seasons, including two at Michigan State (1997-98) and one at Louisiana State (2000). Among other notable coaches Tucker has worked with are Jim Tressel and Romeo Crennel. He played four seasons as a defensive back at Wisconsin under legendary coach Barry Alvarez.