HAYWARD, Calif. (KGO) -- The Oakland Raider's new coach Jack Del Rio has a long history here in the Bay Area where he grew up in Hayward and was a Raiders fan. His family even had season tickets.
Sources told ESPN that the Denver Broncos defensive coordinator interviewed Tuesday night with owner Mark Davis, general manager Reggie McKenzie and former Raiders coach John Madden. Madden has been a proponent of Del Rio.
"He was just a normal kid, except he was bigger than everybody else and could play sports better than everybody else," said Andy Miller.
Miller's known Jack Del Rio since the fifth grade.
"We played freshman football together. The coach would send the defensive assignments in from the sidelines and Jack on occasion would overrule the coach and call his own defense," said Miller.
Jack became a star athlete here at Hayward High, not just in football, but in basketball and baseball.
"He was the biggest toughest, meanest and probably smartest guy on the field, so he was a perfect teammate," said Miller.
He turned down Major League Baseball to take a football scholarship at USC. Then he played 10 years in the NFL. He was that linebacker who always wound up with the ball.
"That's because he knew where the quarterback was going to throw the ball before the quarterback did and he would get himself in position to make the interception," said Miller.
Del Rio's coaching career took him up and down the East Coast, and then to Denver, but he never forgot about Hayward. In fact, they still know him pretty well at Hayward High.
"He's helped finance the weight room, helped support the building of the team room, he came two years ago, handed out school supplies to the players," said Justin Redemer, Hayward High School Football Coach.
Hayward High School also has a proud history in football. For starters, Del Rio's father, Jack Senior, was a coach.
And speaking of coaches, there's another name you might recognize -- legendary 49ers coach Bill Walsh was also a Hayward High School graduate.
"Hayward is a place where people do big things, so it's just great to see it happening," said Redemer.
Hayward's Jack Del Rio to coach Oakland Raiders
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