There is a lot of praise around the NFL’s Washington Redskins hiring former Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera as their new boss on Wednesday.
I’ll admit it. I don’t think Coach Rivera will change the Redskins’ culture as a laughing stock NFL franchise, even if they have a few good seasons here and there. We’ve seen this time and time again since the 1990s and nothing’s changed long term since Joe Gibbs’ first run coaching the team when I was a toddler and young elementary school boy.
That said, take my opinion of the Redskins with a grain of salt. I’ll leave it to Hogs Haven for Skins analysis so take their word over mine.
But here’s an interesting fact that you may not have known much about. Rivera’s wife Stephanie was once an assistant coach on the Washington Mystics in 2000.
Théoden James of The Charlotte Observer wrote a detailed column on Rivera and her impact on Ron’s life in 2016. Stephanie, like Ron, were student athletes for the California Golden Bears where she was a point guard on the basketball team and he was a star linebacker on the football team and struck up a relationship.
They ultimately got married, and Rivera ultimately spent one season here in D.C. 20 years ago. Stephanie Rivera left the Mystics after the 2000 season to focus on coaching youth basketball at the AAU and high school levels. Interestingly enough, the Mystics made their first postseason berth with her as an assistant on the bench.
Mystics General Manager and Head Coach Mike Thibault was quick to welcome her to D.C. on Twitter.
In the end, let’s give Stephanie and her family a big welcome back to D.C. Again, I’m not the best person to talk to in regard to the Redskins, though I wish (and would LOVE) to be proven wrong. But it will be nice to see Rivera and her families to watch the defending WNBA champions this summer.