As head coach John Fox is waiting to undergo a heart operation in the next few days, the Denver Broncos this morning named defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio as interim head coach until Fox is able to return to his coaching duties.
Del Rio brings nine years of head coaching experience and 17 total years as an NFL coach to the interim position. He led the Jacksonville Jaguars to a 69-73 record and two playoff appearances as head coach. Del Rio will maintain his defensive coordinator duties while he is the interim coach while Peyton Manning and the offense will continue to do what they’ve been doing all season.
Coach Fox is going to miss at least one month after his heart surgery. Fox was hospitalized Saturday after feeling light headed while golfing in Charlotte, N.C. He has been aware of his defective aortic valve for months but was hoping to conclude the 2013 season before going through with heart surgery. With the rest of the Broncos players and coaching staff returning to Dove Valley following the bye week, Fox remains in North Carolina and will have an operation to replace an aortic heart valve very soon.
A statement from coach Fox was released on the team website following Saturday’s health scare:
“Although I am disappointed I must take some time away from the team to attend to this pre-existing health condition, I understand that it’s the right thing to do. I have great confidence in our coaches and players, who are fully committed to our goals I look forward to returning to coaching as soon as possible.”
Del Rio will address his new coaching duties in a press conference later today. Offensive coordinator Adam Gase and special-teams coach Jeff Rodgers will continue to manage their respective units.