Dan Snyder remained faithful to his tradition of hiring big-name coaches. Though “Gruden” may rank with “Spurrier,” “Schottenheimer,” and “Gibbs” as a high-profile name in the coaching ranks, the Gruden Snyder hired is not the Gruden normally associated with head-coaching vacancies.
The Washington Redskins hired Jay Gruden as their new head coach Thursday. Gruden, the younger brother of former Oakland and Tampa Bay coach John Gruden, served as the offensive coordinator for the Cincinatti Bengals the past three seasons. He replaces Mike Shanahan, whose 3-13 record, leaks to journalists embarrassing owner Dan Snyder, and mishandling of an injured Robert Griffin III in last year’s playoffs made his firing at the conclusion of this season a fait accompli.
Gruden is the organization’s ninth head coach since Joe Gibbs’s initial run as head coach ended in 1992 after winning three Super Bowls in twelve seasons. Since then, the Redskins have descended into the NFL’s cellar even as the monetary value of the team has gone through the roof. Since Gibbs’s initial departure, the Redskins boast just six winning seasons out of the last twenty two.
The Redskins gig marks Gruden’s first job as an NFL head coach. He held past head coaching positions in the United Football League and the Arena Football League, which features Gruden in its Hall of Fame. The new NFL head coach won six championships in arena ball–four as a quarterback and two as a coach.