|Years Coached||Record||Win %||Playoff record||Playoff win %|
Jay Gruden was a football coach in the National Football League (NFL) from 2002 to 2020, finishing his career as the offensive coordinator of the Jacksonville Jaguars. Over his seventeen years of coaching his teams compiled a cumulative win/loss record of 126-145-1. He was the head coach of the Washington Redskins from 2014 until the 2019 season, during which time the Redskins went 38-57-1. During his career he was a head coach for six seasons. He was fired from the Redskins on Sunday, October 6, 2019.
Jay Gruden Coaching Tree
Before he was a head coach, Gruden served as an assistant coach for Jon Gruden, Marvin Lewis, and Doug Marrone. Seven of these years were spent on Gruden's coaching staff. During his time as head coach, two assistant coaches, (Sean McVay and Kevin O'Connell) on his coaching staff were hired as head coaches across the league. His coaching tree has combined for a record of 55-26-0 in the regular season and 7-3 in the playoffs during their seven seasons as head coach after serving on his coaching staffs. The coaching tree has won a single championship, in 2021 by the Los Angeles Rams, led by Sean McVay.
Gruden was born on Saturday, March 4, 1967 in Tampa, Florida.
Table of Contents
- 1 Non-NFL Career
- 2 NFL Career
Prior to his current NFL coaching career, Gruden was a successful quarterback for many years in several different professional leagues. After a record-breaking career at Louisville, Gruden didn’t make it to an NFL roster. Instead, he spent two seasons coaching as a graduate assistant for Louisville. At the end of his graduate assistant position, Gruden returned to playing football .
Early Playing Career
During the first half of 1991, Gruden played in the WLAF for two different teams: the Barcelona Dragons and the Sacramento Surge. However, he only saw playing time with the Dragons, throwing one pass the entire season. After the 1991 WLAF season, he moved to the AFL where he started his hall of fame career.
Gruden started his AFL career with a workout invite with the recently relocated Tampa Bay Storm, eventually playing his way into the starting quarterback role for the team. In his first season, he led the Storm to its first ever ArenaBowl title with his last second touchdown pass to win the game.
In 1992, Gruden won the AFL’s MVP award as he led the Storm a 9-1 record, enough for 2nd place behind the Orlando Predators. Despite the strong season, the Storm failed to repeat as champions, falling to the Predators 24-21 in the conference championship. Gruden’s playing success continued over the next four seasons as the Storm went 28-12 and won three more ArenaBowl titles (’93, ’95, ’96) and was named First-Team All-Arena in two seasons (’92, ‘95). At the conclusion of the 1996 season, Gruden left the playing field to begin his professional coaching career.
Early Arena Football League Coaching Career
After playing football for so many seasons, Gruden decided to return to coaching. He was offered the offensive coordinator position with the new expansion franchise, the Nashville Kats. He was offered the same salary, but was at no risk for injury, and Gruden excelled in his new role on the sidelines. The Kats went 10-4 and broke the record for most wins by an expansion franchise in AFL history. However, the Kats were defeated by the Surge in the first round of the playoffs. Boosted by the quick success of the Kats, Gruden was hired as the head coach of the Predators for the 1998 season.
Gruden continued his coaching career as the head coach of the Orlando Predators, who came off a successful 10-4 season. In his first season with the Predators the team went on to win ArenaBowl XII over the Storm. In his first four seasons coaching the Predators, Gruden led his team to three ArenaBowls, winning two of them. However, in 2001, the team fell to the Chicago Rush after starting quarterback Chris Wallace sustained a knee injury. After the injury, Gruden returned to the playing field as the team’s starting quarterback, promoting line coach Fran Papasedero to head coach.
Later Playing Career
He continued his playing career with the Predators, and he remained a prolific quarterback for his team. He ranked among the league leaders in several passing categories in the 2002 and 2003 seasons, but he was not able to return his team to the ArenaBowl, falling in the semifinals both seasons. During this time as a player, Gruden began his NFL coaching career as an offensive assistant for his older brother Jon Gruden, head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He would remain with the Buccaneers through the 2008 season in this part-time coaching role. However, the sudden death of head coach Papasedero required Jay Gruden to permanently retire from playing as he returned to the sideline to coach the Predators.
Later Coaching Career
With his return to coaching, the Predators continued to have successful regular seasons, but the team did not win another championship. Their most successful season during this stretch was 2006, in which they lost in the ArenaBowl. During Gruden’s second stint as head coach, the team continued their streak of 10+ wins per season (running their streak to four seasons, 2003-2006). The team also continued to be the model of consistency for the AFL; by the end of Gruden’s tenure, the Predators made the playoffs in seventeen straight seasons (1992-2008), setting the national record for professional sports. However, at the end of 2008, the AFL discontinued operations for a season. This, paired with Jon Gruden, and subsequently Jay, being fired from the Buccaneers, ultimately led Jay Gruden to coach a new team.
When the AFL halted operations for 2009, Gruden returned to coaching outdoor football in the United Football League (UFL). In his first season, Gruden served as offensive coordinator for the Florida Tuskers. The Tuskers had a successful inaugural season; they posted a 6-0 regular season but fell 20-17 (OT) to the Las Vegas Locomotives in the championship game. Gruden oversaw a successful offense, directed by league MVP Brooks Bollinger. When the season concluded, head coach Jim Haslett returned to the NFL as the defensive coordinator for the Washington Commanders.
With the vacant position, Gruden was promoted to the Tuskers’ head coaching job. The 2010 season was not as successful for the Tuskers; Bollinger suffered a rib injury and was unable to replicate his 2009 MVP season. However, a three game winning streak to end the season clinched their second straight berth in the championship game, where the Tuskers lost to the Locomotives for the second consecutive year. After the 2010 season, the Tuskers owner moved the franchise to Virginia, and Gruden returned to coaching at the NFL level.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Gruden started his NFL coaching career in 2002 for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. His older brother, Jon Gruden, was hired as the new head coach. Jay served as an offensive assistant coach only during the season since the AFL had their football season during the NFL offseason. His role on the coaching staff was to help the offensive staff develop game plans for the upcoming opponents. This was his first stint in outdoor football in more than a decade, and his first ever in the NFL. His time with the Buccaneers started out successful, winning the Super Bowl in his first season as an NFL assistant. However, the Buccaneers struggled to repeat that level of success, making the playoffs only two more seasons, never winning a playoff game, during his tenure. After the 2008 season, Jon Gruden was fired and Jay Gruden landed back in the UFL.
After two successful seasons in the UFL (2009-2010), Gruden returned to the NFL as the offensive coordinator for the Cincinnati Bengals in 2011. When hired, Gruden did not know the starting quarterback since Carson Palmer refused to play for the Bengals and requested a trade. In response, the Bengals drafted TCU quarterback Andy Dalton in the 2nd round of the draft.
This move paid instant dividends for the team as Dalton was selected to the Pro Bowl in his first season. Gruden's first two seasons represents the first time in three decades that the Bengals went to the playoffs in back-to-back seasons. Behind many young stars, the Bengals offense has improved each season Gruden was with the team.
Starting in the 2014 season, Gruden was hired by the Washington Commanders as their head coach. The team struggled to a 4-12 record, finishing last in the NFC East. The Redskins rebounded with a 9-7 season and a playoff appearance in 2015. However, after that season, the Redskins regressed each of the following seasons until Gruden was fired in the middle of the 2019 season.
|2020 Jacksonville Jaguars||Offensive Coordinator||1-15-0||0-0|
|2019 Washington Redskins||Head Coach||0-5-0||0-0|
|2018 Washington Redskins||Head Coach||7-9-0||0-0|
|2017 Washington Redskins||Head Coach||7-9-0||0-0|
|2016 Washington Redskins||Head Coach||8-7-1||0-0|
|2015 Washington Redskins||Head Coach||9-7-0||0-1|
|2014 Washington Redskins||Head Coach||4-12-0||0-0|
|2013 Cincinnati Bengals||Offensive Coordinator||11-5-0||0-1|
|2012 Cincinnati Bengals||Offensive Coordinator||10-6-0||0-1|
|2011 Cincinnati Bengals||Offensive Coordinator||9-7-0||0-1|
|2010 Florida Tuskers||Head Coach||5-3-0|
|2009 Florida Tuskers||Offensive Coordinator||6-0-0|
|2008 Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Offensive Assistant Coach||9-7-0||0-0|
|2007 Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Offensive Assistant Coach||9-7-0||0-1|
|2006 Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Offensive Assistant Coach||4-12-0||0-0|
|2005 Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Offensive Assistant Coach||11-5-0||0-1|
|2004 Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Offensive Assistant Coach||5-11-0||0-0|
|2003 Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Offensive Assistant Coach||7-9-0||0-0|
|2002 Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Offensive Assistant Coach||12-4-0||3-0|
Coach history guide
|Seasons with a championship win||Seasons with a conference championship|
- 6 Arena Bowl victories
- 1 Super Bowl victory
- AFL MVP (1992)
- Elected to the AFL Hall of Fame in 1999
- Years as head coach: 6
- Years as a coordinator: 4
- Championships won: 2002
- Conference Championships won: 2002
- Fifth in total wins for the Washington Commanders.
- Past teams coached for: Jacksonville Jaguars, Washington Redskins, Cincinnati Bengals, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- College Attended: Louisville Cardinals
- Family Members: Jon Gruden, Brother; Jim Gruden, Father; and Deuce Gruden, Nephew
- Date of Birth: Saturday, March 4, 1967 (55 years old), Tampa, Florida