Denver Broncos head coach John Fox has come home for Super Bowl XLVIII.
Fox lived in Wayne for from 1997 to 2001 when he was the defensive coordinator of the New York Giants. He was on staff when the team went to Super Bowl XXXV.
Barbara Rigoglioso and her family were neighbors with Fox, his wife Robin, and their four kids.
“He is such a great guy. He and his family did everything a Wayne family should do. You’d always see him at the Milk Barn ice cream stand or at Neil’s Pizzeria,” Rigoglioso said. “We would all pile into a van and just decide to go somewhere fun. We had such great times together.”
Fox said Monday that winning a Super Bowl here would be special.
“I’ve got a lot of close friends here, and neighbors,” Fox told NJ.com. “It would mean a tremendous amount to win here.”
The Rigoglioso and Fox families became close during the coach's tenure with the Giants. Fox’s wife Robin and Rigoglioso were pregnant with their youngest children, both daughters, at the same time.
“That was quite a bond,” Rigoglioso said.
The families also experienced hardship together. Fox underwent heart surgery earlier this season that kept him off the sidelines for a month. Fox told the NFL Network that “it was a scary time” and that there was “no doubt” he was close to death with his heart issues. Charlie Rigoglioso also had heart surgery.
“It was a very emotional time for him and John was there for him,” Rigoglioso said. “He is such a great friend.”
Fox and Julianna are close, too. Fox recently took her to the 9/11 Memorial in New York.
“She's always cheering for him during Broncos games,” Riogoglioso said. “She always wants him to do well.”
Fox called Riogoglioso and invited the entire family to the Super Bowl.
“We’re so thankful that we’ve had him and his family as wonderful friends for years and how he’s never forgotten about us,” Riogoglioso said. “All of Wayne wishes him well and the best of luck on Sunday.”