The football team, the Carolina Panthers now has the best record in the NFL this year and Latin immigrant roots head coach Ron Rivera, who still believes his team is regarded as an uninvited guest to the playoff party, has played a big part in the 15-1 record. With last night’s 49-15 win over the Arizona Cardinals in the NFC Division Championship game, his team is now headed to the Super Bowl. Here are 10 facts you should know about Rivera:
1: Ron Rivera was born to a Puerto Rican-father and a Mexican roots mother in Fort Ord, California in 1962. His father was a commissioned officer in the United States Army and was stationed in California, where
he met his future wife, Rivera’s mother.
2: Rivera is the second youngest of four boys in his family and grew up in a military family and spent parts of his childhood in Panama, Germany, Maryland, Washington D.C.
3: Hs family finally settled in Monterey, California, where he began playing football and finished high school. He was the MVP of the 1984 East-West Shrine Game and was the country’s top linesman in 1983 winning the Lombardi Award.
After graduating, Rivera won a scholarship to UC-Berkeley to play football for the Golden Bears. At UC-Berkeley, Ron was an All-American linebacker and broke several school records. An All-American at the University of California, Rivera finished his career as the school’s all-time leader in sacks with 22 and tackles with 336.
4: Rivera’s idol growing up was Puerto Rican baseball player Roberto Clemente.
5: Rivera is the first Puerto Rican and Mexican American to play on a victorious Super Bowl championship team. In the 1984 NFL Draft, Rivera was selected in the second round by the Chicago Bears. During the 1985 season, Rivera played in Super Bowl XX, where the Bears beat the New England Patriots, 46-10 in Florida.
6: Rivera worked as a TV analyst covering the Bears and a little college football before moving on to work for the Chicago Bears, the Philadelphia Eagles, and the San Diego Chargers.
7: Rivera is only the fourth Latino to be an NFL head coach. He was named head coach of the Carolina Panthers on January 11, 2011, inheriting a ……
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