Dan Quinn has signed his contract to become coach of the Washington Commanders, with the final NFL team to fill a head vacancy going with a candidate with previous experience in the role.
The team announced the hiring of Quinn on Saturday after reaching a verbal agreement with him earlier in the week. The former Atlanta Falcons coach who guided the team to a Super Bowl appearance spent the past three seasons as the Dallas Cowboys’ defensive coordinator.
“Dan has rightfully earned a reputation as one of the NFL’s top defensive minds, building tough, explosive and dynamic teams that compete hard,” controlling owner Josh Harris said in a statement. “But most importantly, he is an incredible leader who brings out the best in his players, coaches and staff.”
Washington chose Quinn after Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson informed teams he’d be staying in Detroit and Seattle hired Baltimore assistant Mike Macdonald. With Raheem Morris — who returned to Atlanta after serving as interim coach when Quinn was fired in 2020 — off the board, Quinn was the only person the Commanders seriously considered who wouldn’t have been a first time head coach in the league.
New general manager Adam Peters said he has long admired Quinn as a great man and a great coach.
“The way his teams play, and the way the people who I respect most in this league revere him as a leader and a man, gave me conviction that he was the right person for the job,” Peters said. “His ability to connect with not only his players but all layers of every organization he has been in is a rare trait and something that strongly resonated with us.”
The 53-year-old Quinn is also significantly older than the other finalists for the job. The Commanders ultimately decided that experience was valuable for a roster that could undergo wholesale changes.
“The organization has an outstanding vision, and I’m honored to be a part of what’s next,” Quinn said, adding along with Harris’ ownership group and Peters he “cannot wait to help usher in a new era” of Washington football.
Quinn, in a news release sent by the Commanders, also thanked Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, executive Stephen Jones and coach Mike McCarthy, saying players and staff became family in a short period of time in Dallas. Now he’s on to the NFC East-rival Commanders, taking over a team that went 4-13 and has the second pick in the draft.
“We have a great task ahead of us,” Quinn said. “But the ownership group, Adam, and I are lockstep in putting in the work to achieve our goal: consistently competing for Super Bowls year in and year out.”
Kliff Kingsbury, who withdrew from consideration for the Las Vegas Raiders offensive coordinator job, is considered one of the candidates for the same post on Quinn’s staff with Washington.
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