Head Coach, Washington Redskins
The Washington Redskins announced on Thursday, Jan. 9, 2013, that they have named Jay Gruden as the 29th head coach in franchise history.
Excluding interim coaches, Gruden, 46, becomes the team’s youngest head coaching hire since hiring eventual Pro Football Hall of Famer Joe Gibbs at 40 years of age in 1981. He becomes the first Redskins coach hired directly from an offensive coordinator role on another team since Norv Turner in 1994.
Gruden spent the last three seasons as offensive coordinator for the Cincinnati Bengals. In his tenure in Cincinnati from 2011-13, the Bengals averaged 10 wins a season, making three consecutive playoff appearances and earning an AFC North championship in 2013. Members of the Bengals’ offense accounted for seven Pro Bowl selections in his three seasons in Cincinnati.
Gruden was tasked with the development of quarterback Andy Dalton, a 2011 second-round pick. In three seasons together, Gruden helped Dalton to a 30-18 regular season record as a starter (.625), as Dalton’s 30 wins in that time frame ranked tied for fifth-most among NFL quarterbacks. Dalton’s 80 passing touchdowns rank third-most in NFL history for a quarterback in his first three seasons, trailing only Dan Marino (98) and Peyton Manning (85).
Prior to joining the Bengals, Gruden served two years with the Florida Tuskers of the United Football League from 2009-10. In 2009, Gruden served as offensive coordinator under current Redskins defensive coordinator Jim Haslett as the Tuskers compiled a 6-0 regular season record and earned a UFL championship game berth. In 2010, he assumed the roles of head coach and general manager and led the Tuskers to their second consecutive championship game appearance.
Gruden coached for seven seasons (2002-08) with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, earning a Super Bowl championship ring as an offensive assistant in 2002. There he worked under his brother, Jon, then the Bucs’ head coach, and current Redskins Executive Vice President/General Manager Bruce Allen, the Bucs’ general manager from 2004-08. The group guided the Buccaneers to the team’s first league championship, a 48-21 victory in Super Bowl XXXVII.
Gruden also ranks among the most outstanding players and coaches in the history of the Arena Football League, having won six combined league championships – four as a quarterback and two as a head coach. Gruden played quarterback (2002-03) and served as head coach (2004-08) of the AFL’s Orlando Predators, all while simultaneously working as an offensive assistant with the Buccaneers. In all, Gruden served as head coach of the Predators for nine seasons (1998-2001 and 2004-08), leading the Predators to four championship game appearances and two league titles as a coach. During a two-year hiatus from coaching the Predators in 2002-03, he returned to the playing field as Orlando’s quarterback, leading the Predators to playoff appearances in both seasons.
In his eight seasons as a player in the AFL, Gruden completed 1,673-of-2,775 passes (60.3 percent) for 21,578 yards with 398 touchdowns and 99 interceptions. In addition to his time with Orlando, he spent six seasons (1991-96) at quarterback for the Tampa Bay Storm, winning four AFL titles and being named MVP of ArenaBowl VII in 1993. He also was named the 1992 AFL Most Valuable Player and was honored with induction into the AFL Hall of Fame in 1999.
Gruden played quarterback for four seasons for former Redskins draft pick Howard Schnellenberger at the University of Louisville (1985-88) and was a two-time team MVP.
Gruden was born March 4, 1967 in Tiffin, Ohio. He and his wife, Sherry, have three sons — J.J., Joey and Jack.