The Washington Redskins‘ search for a new head coach, which once looked like it would take weeks, ended Thursday when the team agreed to hire Jay Gruden, a league source told ESPN.
Gruden had been scheduled to interview for the Minnesota Vikings coaching vacancy Thursday before he agreed to become the Redskins’ coach. He is expected to be introduced by the Redskins on Thursday afternoon. The team has called a 4 p.m. ET news conference.
He replaces Mike Shanahan, who was fired the day after the team’s season ended. Gruden becomes the sixth coach hired by owner Dan Snyder in his 15 years; none have lasted more than four years.
Gruden, the Cincinnati Bengals‘ offensive coordinator, interviewed with Washington on Wednesday, one day after meeting with the Tennessee Titans. He also had a visit scheduled with the Detroit Lions.
The Bengals plan to promote quarterbacks coach Hue Jackson to offensive coordinator with Gruden headed to the Redskins, a league source said.
Gruden has deep ties to numerous members of the organization, which is why he was always considered one of the favorites for the position. He worked as a Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive assistant for five seasons under general manager Bruce Allen, now the Redskins’ GM. Secondary coach Raheem Morris worked with Gruden in Tampa; Redskins tight ends coach Sean McVay worked with Gruden for one year in Tampa and one year in the United Football League. Finally, Gruden served as the offensive coordinator for Jim Haslett in the UFL with the Florida Tuskers.
McVay is expected to become Washington’s offensive coordinator under Gruden, while Morris is a candidate to be defensive coordinator, according to league sources.
Gruden spent the past three seasons as the Bengals’ offensive coordinator, all of which ended with trips to the postseason. The offense fizzled in the playoffs, averaging 11 points in three losses. Gruden, however, earned praise for his work with quarterback Andy Dalton, who’s thrown for more than 3,000 yards in each of his first three seasons.