After 256 games played in the 2015-2016 NFL season, the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers not only won their divisions handily, but were victorious in their respective conference championship games. So, with Super Bowl 50 taking place on February 7, we will once again have a VetFamily member coaching a Super Bowl team: the Panthers' Ron Rivera.
Rivera is the son of a 32-year Army veteran and was raised and educated on numerous military bases in Europe, Central America and throughout the U.S. He was a standout linebacker in high school and almost wound up in the Army himself after being heavily recruited by West Point, but chose to follow a different path, still carrying with him the many military values learned from his father. That path eventually led Rivera to the NFL and twice to the Super Bowl, first as a player with the 1985 Chicago Bears and now, in 2016, as head coach of the Panthers.
Under Rivera's leadership, the team actively supports many military members stationed in North Carolina, going above and beyond the NFL's annual Salute to Service campaign. Rivera often invites military members and veterans to attend practices and speak to his team, inspiring even the most famous players in the locker room, including quarterback Cam Newton.
So, in just over a week, keep an eye out for Rivera on the sideline as the Panthers and Broncos battle it out in the Bay. And whether you're watching the Super Bowl on the big screen at home, on Verizon's NFL Mobile app or at Santa Clara's Levi's Stadium itself, we hope you enjoy the game!