News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Tues. Dec. 15, 2020: Washington Football Team head coach Ron Rivera is only the second-ever head coach in the NFL of Latino descent to reach the Super Bowl. From a Puerto Rican father and a mother with Mexican heritage, the man from California is very proud of his roots.
The Washington coach, who is nicknamed Riverboat Ron, is proving to be a great role model for the Latino community as he is excelling in the biggest American football league in the world and proving what is possible in the sport.
Rivera led his team to the Super Bowl in 2016 when he was with the Carolina Panthers. They were beaten by the Denver Broncos after going 15-1 through the regular season. The run of victories they went on that season helped him establish him as one of the best coaches in the NFL.
35 years prior to Rivera’s achievement, Tom Flores was the first Latino coach to reach the Super Bowl when the Oakland Raiders, not only got there in 1980, but also won the Vince Lombardi Trophy. Many Latinos are now pushing for Flores to enter the Hall of Fame for what he accomplished in the sport.
Riverboat Ron knows all about first in the NFL. In 1984 he became the first player of Puerto Rican and Mexican descent to be drafted into the league when the Chicago Bears chose him in the second round as the 44th overall pick. He had a good playing career and is continuing to have success as a head coach.
Washington Making Up for Slow Start
Rivera took over in Washington back in January. He inherited a team that went 3-13 last season and was really short of confidence. After a slow start in 2020, his team is now moving in the right direction and has the top spot in the NFC East. At the time of writing, they had NFL odds on bet365 of -260 to win the title in the division, something which would be their first since 2015.
The Football Team head coach has been fortunate to be able to lean on the experience of Alex Smith on the field. He is on course to be named the Comeback Player of the Year as the Washington QB overcame a very serious leg injury in 2018 and returned to the NFL this season.
One of the big strengths of this Washington team under Rivera is their defense. They were at their very best recently when they inflicted the first defeat of the season on the Pittsburgh Steelers 23-17. Their first-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, Chase Young, has wasted no time adapting to the league and is a big part of the team’s success already.
Rivera’s job now will be to ensure Washington continue to improve this year. They will be a match for anybody in the NFC if they reach the postseason. His players will now know exactly what their head coach demands. They seem to be enjoying playing for the two-time NFL Coach of the Year who could be on course for arguably the best season of his career.