The Washington Commanders announced that head coach Ron River's mother Dolores died Monday evening with her family at her side. The news one week after Rivera missed practice due to a "personal matter" concerning his mom, according to TMZ Sports.
"Coach Rivera is grateful he was able to spend two days with her last week," the Commanders said in a statement. "The Snyders and the entire Commanders family extend their heartfelt condolences to Coach Rivera and his family. The Rivera family would like to say thank you for the many kind thoughts and prayers they have received. Arrangements are pending and we would ask everyone to please respect the family's privacy during this difficult time."
It is not known if Rivera, who has been the coach of the Commanders since 2020, will be at the team's game against the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday. Currently, the team is 4-4 and won their last three games. If the playoffs were to start today, Washington would be on the outside looking in as they don't hold the tiebreaker with the San Francisco 49ers for the final spot in the NFC. On Monday, Rivera told reporters what he likes about his team.
"I do like how resilient they are," he said, per the Commanders' official website. "I like the way they scrap and fight. I mean, our defenses has bowed its neck when it's had to. Offensively, we've done the things that we've needed to give ourselves that chance to win."
Rivera, 60, has an 18-23 record as the Commanders' head coach. He joined Washington after spending nearly nine seasons as head coach of the Carolina Panthers. During his time in Carolina, Rivera won three NFC South titles, lead the Panthers to the playoffs four times and reached the Super Bowl during the 2015 season. His success in Carolina led to him winning NFL coach of the year in 2013 and 2015.
Before Rivera became the head coach of the Panthers, he spent time coaching with several NFL teams including the San Diego Chargers (now Los Angeles Chargers), Philadelphia Eagles and Chicago Bears. He was named Assistant Coach of the Year by the Pro Football Writers Association in 2005 when he was the defensive coordinator for the Bears.