As the post-Superbowl buzz dies down, there will be alot more buzz surrounding the decisions made my the new owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars, Shahid Khan, and his staff. On January 4, 2012 Khan purchased the Jaguars from Wayne Weaver’s ownership group for $760 million dollars. In doing so, Khan became the National Football League’s (NFL) first minority team owner.
Shahid Khan described his purchase of the Jaguars as the fulfillment of his “lifelong American dream.” The son of a math professor and entrepeneur, Khan was born in Lahore, Pakistan. A young Khan immigrated to America at the age of 16 and enrolled in the University of Ullinois at Champaigne, where he studied industrial engineering. As he told Peter King of Sports Illustrated in his podcast, he first stayed at YMCA and worked as a dishwasher, making $1.20 an hour. Khan recounts how he became enamored with football during his fraternity days, in an atmosphere infused with the spirit of the “Red Grange” and the Chicago Bears.
Khan went on to becoming a success in the auto-parts industry, founding Illinois based Flex-N-Gate. However, this did not satisfy the passion Khan had for football. As Khan told King, “Everybody dreams about owning an NFL team.” He had previously tried unsuccessfully with the St. Louis Rams, but was undeterred. Eventually, Khan’s determination paid off when the opportunity to purchase the Jaguars arose.
Khan isn’t satisfied merely to own a team. He wants to win. He began shaking things up by replacing Coach Jack Del Rio with Mike Mularkey, former offensive coordinator of the Atlanta Falcons. He announced that the Jaguars plan to spend $130 million in the upcoming year, while the salary cap is $120 million. Regarding the offense, Khan expressed to King the “need to [place] skilled players around him [Blayne Gabbert] that will help add potency to the offense.” He also recently announced that the Jaguars will be donning a new all-black uniform next season.
Although much-to-do has been made of his signature handle-bar moustache and his mega-yacht named Kismet, Khan’s legacy as an NFL owner will be ultimately tied to his vision. To this end, Khan has made public his intention to help the city of Jacksonville succeed – the Jaguar way. According to Khan: “The bottom line is that Jacksonville should be using the power of the NFL and let the NFL work for Jacksonville.”