Coach Rivera grew up in a military family and spent parts of his childhood in Panama, Germany, Maryland, Washington D.C. When Ron was a teenager, his family finally settled in Monterey, California, where he began playing football and finished high school.
2. His role model didn't play professional football
As a kid, Rivera's idol was Puerto Rican baseball player Roberto Clemente.
3. Rivera was a college football phenomenon
Before graduating high school, Ron won a scholarship to UC-Berkeley to play football for the Golden Bears. At UC-Berkeley, Ron played as an All-American linebacker and demolished several school records.
4. Rivera was the 1st Puerto Rican football player to win a Super Bowl
When he played for the Chicago Bears, Rivera became the first Puerto Rican player to win the Super Bowl in 1985. The Chicago Bears beat the New England Patriots 46-10 at Super Bowl XX.
5. Rivera had a brief career in sports journalism
In 1993, Rivera began his short-lived career as a sports TV analyst covering NFL and college games in the Chicago area for SportsChannel Chicago and WGN-TV. After three years, Rivera decided to go back to the NFL and became the defense quality control coach for the Bears.
6. Rivera's job as head coach was rumored to be in jeopardy in 2013
Rivera worked on the coaching staff for the Chicago Bears, the Philadelphia Eagles, and the San Diego Chargers before he was hired by the Carolina Panthers as their head coach in 2011. Two years later, when the team hired their new General Manager Dave Gettleman before the start of the 2013 season, it was rumored that Rivera would be replaced. However, instead of cleaning house, Gettleman shot down the rumors and worked with Rivera to guarantee success.
“We talked, and I said, “Ron, this is what I expect and the way I want to approach this. It’s going to be collaborative. We’re going to find players that fit your schemes. I’m going to listen to the coaches and everybody [on the scouting staff],” Gettleman told FOX Sports. “It doesn’t mean I’m always going to do what you want, but I will listen and take everything in. I expect that in return. It’s a two-way street now. You’ve got to understand that if I say, ‘No,’ I’ll explain why but understand it’s going to be a firm no.’
7. Rivera's nickname "Riverboat Ron" is trademarked
Since becoming head coach of the Panthers, Rivera has come to be known as "Riverboat Ron." The moniker started to stick after his swift change of coaching styles in 2013, which seemingly showed the instincts of a riverboat gambler. Since the name has become more popular, Rivera and lawyers have filed to trademark his humorous alias to try and use it to help out the community. "We're trying to figure it out and it's out there and people have kind of jumped onto it so I figured what the heck," Rivera said. "If it's going to be out there then let's see if we can do something in the community with it."
8. The Rivera family home was nearly burned to the ground
Last Fall, Rivera was at home in bed when he and his wife, Stephanie, were awaken by their fire alarm. With several other family members in their home, their security provider CPI helped guide them to safety before they could be seriously injured.
9. Rivera and his family love to help their community
One of the Rivera's favorite things to do is give back. Ron and his family assist with fundraising efforts year-round for veterans and cancer research. They are very active raising money to fight pancreatic cancer, which took the life of Rivera’s brother Mickey in 2015.
10. Ron Rivera's dabbin' skills are up to par
Although he's not a big fan of hoverboards, Rivera still knows how to turn up with his team. The Carolina Panthers and quarterback Cam Newton had a stellar year, and what better way to celebrate than to dab it out. Earlier this season, Rivera attempted to turn up in the locker room by giving into the Dabbin' fever after their victory against the Washington Redskins. How do you rank Rivera's dab?