John Harbaugh wishes Washington coach Ron Rivera well after cancer diagnosis


John Harbaugh began his press conference Friday by wishing well to Washington coach Ron Rivera, who was recently diagnosed with cancer. The announcement was made late Thursday night.

Rivera, who has squamous cell cancer of the neck, plans to keep coaching and said the cancer is treatable and curable. 

“I’d like to start off by acknowledging Ron Rivera and Ron and Stephanie, our good friends,” Harbaugh said. “Good friends of Ingrid (John Harbaugh’s wife) and I, we go back a long way. I love Ron. And the fight that he’ll now conquer. Our thoughts and our prayers are with him completely. As he said on his text, they’ve got this, and they’re going to do great with it.”


Harbaugh and Rivera coached in Philadelphia together from 1999-2003. Harbaugh was the special teams coordinator, while Rivera coached linebackers. Rivera departed for the 2004 season to be the defensive coordinator for the Chicago Bears. 

Rivera was the coach of the Carolina Panthers from 2011-2019 before heading to Washington.