All about Commanders head coach Ron Rivera: stats, contract info

Ron Rivera

Ron Rivera is in his third season with the Washington Commanders, as he hopes to replicate the success he had in his first season. “Riverboat Ron” led the Commanders to an NFC East title and pushed the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to the brink in their Wild Card game.

However, Rivera’s second season saw Washington finish third in the NFC East, going 7-10 and missing the playoffs, so now with a new quarterback in Carson Wentz, the 60-year-old will hope for better results in 2022 for the Commanders. It got off to a rough start, though, as Washington found themselves at the bottom of the NFC East a quarter of the way through the season.

Here’s a complete player profile on the Washington head coach.

Ron Rivera’s bio

  • Height: 6′ 3″
  • Weight: 235 lbs
  • Birthdate: Jan. 7, 1962
  • College: California
  • NFL experience: 25 years as coach

Ron Rivera’s NFL coaching stats

Rivera’s first head coaching job in the NFL came in 2011 with the Carolina Panthers, where he held the position for eight years. However, he wasn’t out of a job for long, as in January 2020, Washington appointed Rivera to be their head coach. 

(as of Oct. 12, 2022):

  • 15-23 record with Washington
  • 91-86-1 record as an NFL head coach


  • 0-1 record with Washington
  • 3-5 record as an NFL head coach

Ron Rivera's career stats (LB)

  • Games played: 137
  • Sacks: 7.5
  • Interceptions: 9
  • Fumble recoveries: 6
  • Touchdowns: 1

Ron Rivera’s contract details with Commanders

Rivera signed a five-year contract with the Commanders in 2020, taking over for former head coach Jay Gruden, who was fired in 2019. Bringing in someone who has been to a Super Bowl as a defensive coordinator and the head coach is going to be expensive as Rivera earns $7-million annually with Washington

How did Ron Rivera get the nickname “Riverboat Ron” 

Rivera had a tough first two seasons in Carolina, and then the Commanders head coach decided to meet with the late John Madden in California to improve on what he did his first two seasons. 


Madden wanted Rivera to look back at the games he lost and wanted the Washington head coach to see what he could have done differently. Rivera stated that he went by the book, punting and kicking field goals when needed. 

The former Oakland Raiders head coach told Rivera to go with his gut on when to kick and punt for his following season, leading to him taking more risks. As a result, the nickname “Riverboat Ron” was born after a journalist described his decisions as one that a Riverboat Gambler would take in that situation. 

Where else did Ron Rivera Coach?

Rivera’s coaching career began in 1997 when he joined the Chicago Bears as a defensive quality control coach. Then in 1999, the Commanders coach joined Andy Reid’s coaching staff with the Philadelphia Eagles as a linebackers coach. 

Then in 2004, Rivera returned to the Bears, becoming their new defensive coordinator for three years, which included a Super Bowl XLI appearance during this tenure there commanding the defense. Rivera then went back to his home state of California, joining the San Diego Chargers as an inside linebackers coach in 2007, but would be promoted to defensive coordinator a year later. 

Rivera would hold the defensive coordinator position with the Chargers for three years. Then, he would become the Panthers head coach in 2011, leading Carolina to a Super Bowl 50 appearance in 2016. The 60-year-old will hope to do the same with Washington, where he’s been since 2020.