Jaguars' owner cans coach Jack Del Rio, announces team sale to businessman
Jack Del Rio, seen in 2006, is out as the Jaguars' coach, and owner Wayne Weaver, right, may follow.
November 29th, 2011
02:42 PM ET

Jaguars' owner cans coach Jack Del Rio, announces team sale to businessman

For a 3-8 team that has done little to turn heads this season, there was plenty of news coming out of the Jacksonville Jaguars' clubhouse Tuesday as owner Wayne Weaver fired his coach, then announced he would step aside himself.

Jack Del Rio, 43, became the team's second coach in 2003. Though the Jags made the playoffs in 2005 and 2007, they won only one postseason game under Del Rio.

Defensive coordinator Mel Tucker will take the helm for the rest of the season, according to the Jaguars' website, which notes that the defense has been one of the few bright spots for the team this year, "currently ranking fourth in the NFL and fourth in pass defense."

The bigger news, however, may have been Weaver's announcement that he had agreed to sell his team to Shahid Khan, an Illinois businessman. The deal must be approved by the league and other team owners.

"I am excited for the team and for our great fans because Shahid will bring passion and commitment to the job. He is committed to restoring a winning tradition here in Jacksonville," Weaver said.

Khan, a Pakistani native, began working for Flex-N-Gate Corp. in 1970, while he was in school, the Jaguars website says. After graduating from the University of Illinois in engineering in 1971, Khan worked for Flex-N-Gate until 1978 before going into business for himself.

"He began a new business designing and manufacturing innovative lightweight, continuous metal bumper systems, with no seams to corrode or rust. Today, nearly two-thirds of all North American pick-up trucks and sport utilities have bumper systems based on Khan’s designs," the website says.

Khan purchased his former employer in 1980, and the Flex-N-Gate Group now boasts 48 plants internationally, more than 10,000 employees and sales topping $3 billion.

Khan told the website it has "long been my personal and professional goal” to own an NFL franchise and he is "fully committed to delivering Jacksonville its first Super Bowl championship."

There has been lots of speculation that the Jaguars might relocate so the latter statement from Khan may come as a relief to pro football fans in North Florida.

Jacksonville and the Carolina Panthers joined the NFL as expansion teams in 1995, and the Jags made an immediate impression, reaching the playoffs in four of their first five seasons, including two division championships and a 14-2 campaign in 1999.

Since 1999, however, the team has reached the postseason only twice and fan enthusiasm has waned. The team presently ranks 26th among the NFL's 32 teams in attendance. Del Rio steps down after posting a 68-71 record during his time there.

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Filed under: Florida • Football • Pro football • Sports
soundoff (102 Responses)
  1. Rev

    location is asia but he is arab so whats your point

    November 29, 2011 at 6:48 pm | Report abuse |
  2. mdn

    Pakistan is not an Arab country. It is an Islamic country. Mr. Khan is an American citizen. I do agree that it is great that he will own the team.

    November 29, 2011 at 6:48 pm | Report abuse |
  3. DAISHI

    Obvious troll is obvious.

    November 29, 2011 at 6:50 pm | Report abuse |
  4. aaron

    generalize much? What a sad, patheic comment. If "Rev" suggests you are a (self proclaimed)Christian . . . I would say you know nothing about Jesus, his teachings, or God's purpose for the human race. Your words are divisive and spread nothing but hate. Zero humanity – way to be "Rev"!

    November 29, 2011 at 6:51 pm | Report abuse |
  5. drschwarz

    Whoa Rev, I'm as much of a "red-blooded American" as the next guy, but Arabs are NOT an enemy; our enemy is a very narrow group of people, and that is those people participating in terrorist organizations, which could include white people of European descent as much as Arabs. Second, Khan is Pakistani, and Pakistanis are not Arabs. Pakistanis descend from Persians, Indians, Pashtu, and other ethnic groups, not that it should matter though.

    Truth be told, the vast majority of Arabs and Pakistanis, just like you and me, are too busy trying to work hard and make their families' lives better to even give a rat's ass about disliking the United States.

    Finally, I'm a Jacksonville citizen, a proud Jaguars fan, and I happily welcome Mr. Khan. I take him at his word that he's committed to bringing a championship to Jacksonville.

    November 29, 2011 at 6:51 pm | Report abuse |
  6. rel-dog

    Pakistanis are not Arabs... you silly cave man.

    November 29, 2011 at 6:54 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Tom Walker

    Should have taken Tebow when he had a chance. Team would be much more valuable now!!!!!!

    November 29, 2011 at 7:04 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Ezo

    Dude. Get some counseling quick. Your ability to reason has disintegrated and being mad at the world does not bode well for you.

    November 29, 2011 at 7:09 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Rick

    You are confusing Muslim with Arab you fool.

    November 29, 2011 at 7:18 pm | Report abuse |
  10. John N. Seattle, WA

    Khaaaaaaaaaaaaan!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    November 29, 2011 at 7:31 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Civitas

    Hello LA.

    November 29, 2011 at 7:53 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Cleveland Browns

    This is what happens when you don't put together a winning team. Not all of us can have such a winning tradition.

    November 29, 2011 at 8:03 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Jeremy

    I think any comments challenging the prospective buyer's "credentials" as an American are immature. The guy has been here 40+ years, went to school for engineering here (actually did a degree that is USEFULL), worked for an American company, started his own American company (notice from the link posted above, that ALL the factories for his company are in the US?), and finally has had a dream of buying an NFL team.

    Can you be any more American than that? The only thing left to do would be to join the armed services for this guy.

    Ohh anyone who makes comments about his religion (which isnt actually stated in the article....) should read up on our own history. American was founded based on principles of freedom of religon.

    I say let him take the team and see what he can do with it!

    November 29, 2011 at 8:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • AZpatriot

      @ Jeremy: well said!

      November 30, 2011 at 1:18 am | Report abuse |
    • Cal

      It's just a game. I don't see why anyone would care about the owners. Owners rarely have coaching ability nor are they known for picking good coaches. Maybe they just want to roughhouse in the showers after the game with the employees.
      Oops did I say that out loud? Just roughhousing with you guys! Was it good for you too? LOL

      November 30, 2011 at 3:57 am | Report abuse |
  14. s kel

    GOOD BOB HITLER I WOULD LIKE FOR ONE OF THEM ( JAGUARS IN KABUL ) TO RING YOUR DOOR , YOU ANSWER , THAN HE BLOWS IT UP!

    November 29, 2011 at 8:52 pm | Report abuse |
  15. ethieb08

    I believe Khan will have a difficult time bringing the Jags back to the glory days of being a playoff contender and it may take 5 or more years. The more difficult part of the job will be putting fans in the seats. Most of the Jags fans are loyal ones but when you look at the picture as a whole, Jacksonville is a retirement town where people move down south and go to Jacksonville. It will be hard to revamp the fan base and keep people coming back especially with the struggles. Khan's best bet would be to move the team to LA because there is a bigger market and more room for improvement and no NFL team is in this huge market.

    November 29, 2011 at 9:10 pm | Report abuse |
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