Meet Jay Gruden, the new Redskins head coach

Updated: January 9, 2014
Jay Gruden

Today, January 9, 2014, the Washington Redskins hired a new head coach, Jay Gruden. So who is Jay Gruden and what has he done to merit his new position? Let’s explore that.

Gruden is 46 years old and will turn 47 on March 4, 2014. He played quarterback at the University of Louisville for four years and is among the school’s all-time leaders in a number of passing categories. As a senior Gruden led the Cardinals to an 8-3 record, the program’s first winning record in a decade.

The NFL wasn’t interested in Gruden as a quarterback, something that reportedly still bothers him. Instead, Gruden went to the Arena League, where he won four ArenaBowl championships and was named the MVP of the league in 1992 for the Tampa Bay Storm. He also won the following awards as a player in the AFL:

  • 1993: All-Star Game MVP
  • 1995: First Team All-Arena-QB (TB)
  • 1996: AFL’s 10th Anniversary Team
  • 1999: AFL Hall of Fame & All-ArenaBowl Team-QB
  • 2001: Second Team 15th Team Anniversary-QB
  • 2006: No. 4 on the AFL’s list of its top 20 greatest players

Gruden began his coaching career in 1997 with the Nashville Kats and then took over as head coach of the Orlando Predators, the main rival of the Storm. Gruden coached the Predators to AFL championships in 1998 and 2000. He briefly un-retired in 2002 and started playing again, but then left to be an assistant coach for Jon Gruden, his older brother then the head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

On September 16, 2005 Gruden was arrested and charged with a DUI. His blood alcohol limit clearly exceeded the legal limit and he pled guilty to reckless driving and paid a $750 fine.

 Jay Gruden served as an offensive assistant until 2008 for the Bucs, when he left at the same time his brother was fired and replaced by Raheem Morris, the current secondary coach for the Redskins.

In 2009 Gruden joined Jim Haslett, current defensive coordinator for the Redskins, in the fledgling UFL as offensive coordinator of the Florida Tuskers. Haslett was the head coach. In February 2010 Gruden became head coach of the Tuskers when Haslett left to become defensive coordinator of the Redskins. However, a year later, Gruden also left, joining the Cincinnati Bengals as their offensive coordinator in February 2011. A year later Gruden signed a contract extension with the Bengals after being interviewed by several NFL teams [Jaguars, Rams] for their head coaching vacancies. In January 2013 Gruden was interviewed by the Eagles, Cardinals, Chargers and Titans for their head coaching vacancies, but was not chosen to fill any of them.

Here are the offensive rankings for the Cincinnati Bengals while Gruden was their OC.

2013 368.2 10 26.9 7 258.5 8 109.7 18
2012 322.7 22 24.4 12 223.6 17 109.1 18
2011 319.9 20 21.5 18 208.8 20 111.1 19


Earlier this month, Gruden interviewed for the head coaching job of the Redskins and was reportedly the subject of interest from several other teams. However, today, January 9, 2014, Gruden signed a 5-year contract to be the next head coach of the Washington Redskins. Why did Gruden want the Redskins job? Consider this: