LOUDOUN COUNTY, Va. – The Washington Commanders announced today they have named Dan Quinn as the team's head coach. Quinn is the 31st head coach in franchise history.
"My partners and I entered this offseason intent on hiring elite candidates to shape the next chapter of Commanders football and I believe we did just that – first with Adam Peters and now by welcoming the highly respected Dan Quinn as our head coach," Josh Harris, Managing Partner of the Washington Commanders, said. "Dan has rightfully earned a reputation as one of the NFL's top defensive minds, building tough, explosive and dynamic teams that compete hard. But most importantly, he is an incredible leader who brings out the best in his players, coaches and staff. We heard that from everyone we spoke to throughout this process, and it was reaffirmed when we discussed with Dan our shared vision for building a winning franchise. By adding such a respected, accomplished and determined leader as head coach, we've taken another important step in our mission of delivering a championship-caliber team to our fans. I'm incredibly excited for our future and to welcome Dan and his wife Stacey to the Commanders family."
Quinn joins the Commanders with 21 years of coaching experience, most recently serving as the defensive coordinator for the Dallas Cowboys where he was named Assistant Coach of the Year voted on by the Associated Press in 2021. He inherited a defense in 2021 that ranked 28th in points-per-game. From 2021-23, Quinn's unit ranked No. 5 in the NFL in points-per-game (19.9), No. 7 in the NFL in net yards allowed-per-game (327.0), No. 6 in the NFL in sacks (141) and No. 1 in the NFL in interceptions (59). His unit also ranked No. 4 in the NFL in that span in third down conversion percentage (36.4%). Quinn has also excelled in developing defensive talent in Dallas. During his stint as defensive coordinator he assisted in the development of LB Micah Parsons, CB Trevon Diggs and CB DaRon Bland who were all named First Team All Pro as voted on by the Associated Press once over the past three seasons. Dallas also placed three defensive players into the 2024 Pro Bowl in each level of the defense with DE DeMarcus Lawrence, LB Micah Parsons and CB DaRon Bland all representing the NFC this year in Orlando.
"I've long had an admiration for Dan Quinn as both a great man and 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," said General Manager Adam Peters. "We had a chance to sit down and discuss a philosophy and vision for constructing a winning football program, and I can't wait to get to work with Dan on building and developing this football team. 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. I look forward to partnering with Dan to bring a winning environment where players, coaches and staff thrive and grow together. Dan is determined to help restore this franchise to the top of the NFL where it belongs, and I'm thrilled to welcome him and his family to the DMV."
Prior to his stint in Dallas, Quinn spent five seasons as the head coach of the Atlanta Falcons from 2015-2020 where he led Atlanta to an appearance in Super Bowl LI and a playoff berth with a victory and appearance in the NFC Divisional Round in 2017. During his tenure as the Falcons head coach, Atlanta ranked No. 6 in the NFL in total takeaways with 105. Quinn finished his career in Atlanta with a 43-42 regular season record and 3-2 record in the postseason. He captured the second NFC Championship in Atlanta Falcons franchise history.
"I am thrilled for the opportunity to become the next head coach of such a storied franchise and fanbase," said Quinn. "Under the leadership of Josh Harris, the ownership group, and Adam Peters, we cannot wait to help usher in a new era of Washington Commanders football. The organization has an outstanding vision, and I'm honored to be a part of what's next.
I want to thank Jerry Jones, Stephen Jones, Coach Mike McCarthy, and the entire Dallas Cowboys organization for the past three seasons. The players, coaching staff, and everyone across the organization became family in such a short time. We have a great task ahead of us, 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."
Quinn landed his first head coaching role after leading one of the greatest defenses in NFL history in Seattle. Quinn oversaw a Seattle defense in 2013-14 that helped guide the club to consecutive Super Bowl appearances. Over those two seasons, the Seahawks ranked No. 1 in the NFL in fewest yards allowed (270.4), points allowed (15.2) and passing yards allowed (178.8), all while holding opposing offenses to just 91.6 rushing yards-per-game. During his tenure in Seattle, Quinn worked with CB Richard Sherman who led the NFL with 12 interceptions in 2013-14. The Seattle defense also led the NFL during that span with 28 total interceptions. In the two seasons that Quinn oversaw the defense, the team totaled 63 total takeaways, which lead the league. Over the course of those two seasons, Quinn had four of his defensive players earn seven Pro Bowl selections – CB Richard Sherman (two), S Kam Chancellor (two), CB Earl Thomas (two) and LB Bobby Wagner (one).
In college, Quinn was a four-year letter winner and two-time co-captain (1992-93) defensive lineman at Salisbury State (Division III in Salisbury, Md.). Quinn also lettered in track and field and held the school record in the hammer throw. He was inducted into the Salisbury State Athletic Hall of Fame in 2005.
Quinn, originally from Morristown, N.J., and his wife, Stacey, started Quinn's Corps in 2004, which helps serve members of the military both at home and abroad.