Jan. 18, 2004
Former Yale football star Dick Jauron '73 was hired as the defensive coordinator of the Detroit Lions today. The move means 2004 will be Jauron's 29th season in the NFL -- nine as a player, 15 as an assistant coach, and five as a head coach.
Jauron, a halfback, led Yale in rushing from 1970-72. His school career rushing record of 2,947 yards lasted 28 years, finally surpassed in 2000 by Rashad Bartholomew '01 (3,015 yards). Jauron was drafted by the Lions in the fourth round in 1973 and played with them through the 1977 season, making the Pro Bowl in 1975. He later played for the Cleveland Browns (1978) and Cincinnati Bengals (1979-81).
He began his coaching career handling the defensive backs for the Buffalo Bills in 1985, then held the same position with the Green Bay Packers for nine years. He took over as defensive coordinator for the expansion Jacksonville Jaguars in 1995, then was named head coach of the Chicago Bears on January 24, 1999. He coached the Bears to a 13-3 record in 2001, winning the division and earning the AP's NFL Coach of the Year award.
Don Martin '71 is the only other Eli currently on an NFL coaching staff. Martin is a Quality Control-Defense coach with the Oakland Raiders. Two Bulldogs were on NFL rosters this past season -- Chris Hetherington '95 with the Raiders and Eric Johnson '01 with the San Francisco 49ers.
report by Sam Rubin '95 (firstname.lastname@example.org), Yale Sports Publicity Department