The Washington Redskins confirmed this afternoon what many had
reported: Jay Gruden has been hired as head coach. Gruden, who this past season
was the offensive coordinator for the Cincinnati Bengals, will be the franchise’s
29th head coach, the
eighth since Daniel Snyder bought the team in 1999.
With the Bengals, Gruden averaged ten wins per season from 2011-2013. Cincinnati topped the AFC North, but fell to the San Diego Chargers in the Wildcard Round this past weekend.
"This opportunity is a once-in-a-lifetime deal. I will do my best to make sure that I put a competitive football team on the field each and every day," Gruden said following the announcement. "I look forward to the challenge and thank you again to Dan Snyder and Bruce Allen for this opportunity.”
Cincinnati gave Gruden experience developing young quarterback Andy Dalton, a second-round pick in 2011. In three seasons together, the two have a 30-18 record. That work might make Gruden an excellent fit for Robert Griffin III, who is still developing as an NFL player. Former Head Coach Mike Shanahan’s relationship with RGIII was the focus of much attention during his tenure.
“One thing that really helped make it smooth for me was that from the start, Jay was big on asking my input, what I’m most comfortable with and any ideas I had,” Dalton said in a statement released by the Redskins. “With Jay, I had a very positive transition from college to the NFL.”
Gruden served as offensive coordinator of the United Football League’s Florida Tuskers in 2009 and as the team’s head coach in 2010, reaching the championship game both seasons.
Gruden worked with his brother Jon in Tampa Bay, earning s Super Bowl ring as an offensive assistant for the Buccaneers in 2002. While with the Bucs, Gruden met Bruce Allen, who was general manager for the team, but now is the Redskins’ Executive Vice President and General Manager.
“I'm really proud of my brother. He's worked extremely hard to get this opportunity,” Jon Gruden, now with Monday Night Football, said in a statement from the team. “The Washington Redskins are one of the great NFL franchises. I fully expect him to make the most of this opportunity.”
Gruden also coached and played in the Arena Football League. He and his wife, Sherry, have three sons: J.J., Joey and Jack.