a touchdown pass that extended into the 2005 season. Rookie wide receiver
Michael Clayton flourished under Gruden’s watch, leading the team and finishing
first among NFL rookies with 80 receptions for 1,193 yards.
The Buccaneers’ offensive revival continued in 2003 as the team broke the
franchise record for total offense (340.8 avg.) and passing offense (237.8 avg.),
posting top-10 marks in both categories. On defense, the unit ranked fifth in the
NFL (279.1 avg.) and boasted the league’s third-best passing defense (169.4 avg.).
Gruden piloted Tampa Bay to its first-ever Super Bowl in 2002, his first
season as head coach of the Buccaneers. The team established a franchise
record with 12 wins, eclipsing the previous mark of 11 set in 1999, and the
Bucs’ 15 overall wins were the most by a Tampa Bay team in single season.
Gruden became the youngest head coach in NFL history to win a Super Bowl
and was also the first non-rookie head coach in the history of the NFL to lead
his group to the Super Bowl in his first season with a new team. In addition,
Gruden became just the third coach since 1966 to win 40 games before his
40th birthday while also becoming only the third head coach in NFL history to
lead a different team to a playoff appearance in consecutive years.
The Buccaneers’ offense came together down the stretch, averaging 35.3
points and 334.0 yards per game in its three postseason contests. The offensive
line surrendered just one sack in the postseason after allowing 2.6 sacks per
game during the regular season.
Under Gruden’s tutelage, Johnson finished first in the NFC and third in
the NFL in passer rating (92.9) and established single-season club records in
touchdowns (22), completion percentage (62.3), interception ratio (1.3) and
passer rating. He became the first quarterback in Buccaneers history to lead the
NFC in passer rating and earned two NFC Offensive Player of the Week honors,
becoming the first player in club history to accomplish that feat.
The 2002 Buccaneer defense made its case as one of the top defensive units
in NFL history, as Tampa Bay became the first team since the 1985 Chicago
Bears to lead the league in total defense, fewest points allowed and total
interceptions in the same season. Tampa Bay ranked first in the NFL in both
total defense (252.8 avg.) and pass defense (155.6 avg.) for the first time in
team history. The Buccaneers’ defense also ranked first in the league in fewest
points allowed per game (12.3), opponent passer rating (48.4), interceptions
(31), fewest yards per play (4.2) and fewest first downs (236).
In 2002, the Buccaneers’ defense featured five Pro Bowlers: 2002 NFL
Defensive Player of the Year Brooks, John Lynch, Shelton Quarles, NFC sack
leader Simeon Rice and Sapp. Cornerback Brian Kelly tied for the NFL lead
with eight interceptions and Rice led the NFC and ranked second in the NFL
with 15.5 sacks.
Gruden posted a 38-26 record in four seasons in Oakland, notching a win
total that currently ranks fourth among all-time Raiders head coaches. He led
Oakland to back-to-back division titles in 2000 and 2001, marking the first
time since 1982-83 that the Raiders won consecutive AFC West crowns. Under
Gruden, the Raiders hosted the AFC Championship Game after the 2000 season
and advanced to the AFC Divisional Playoffs in 2001, while ranking among
the league’s top-10 offenses in his final three campaigns in Oakland. He also
coached eventual NFL Most Valuable Player Gannon for three seasons, helping
Gannon pass for 11,098 yards on 949-for-1,537 passing (61.7 percent) with
79 touchdowns and just 34 interceptions from 1999-2001.
The Raiders boasted the league’s seventh-ranked offense (335.1 avg.) in
2001 en route to an AFC West title. The Silver and Black went 6-2 against
AFC West opponents and Brown totaled 91 receptions for 1,165 yards with
nine touchdowns. Five Raiders were named to the AFC Pro Bowl squad: Brown,
Gannon, Lincoln Kennedy, Shane Lechler and Woodson.
The Raiders ranked among the NFL’s elite in offense, defense and special
teams under Gruden’s leadership in 2000, as the Silver and Black advanced to
the AFC Championship Game for the first time since 1990. The offense led the
league in rushing (154.4 avg.) and ranked third in the NFL in scoring with 30
points per game. Oakland’s 58 touchdowns were tied for the second-most in the
league. The Raiders ranked fifth in the NFL in rushing defense (96.9 avg.) and
seventh in the league in takeaways (37). The Raiders led the AFC in touchbacks
(15) and the NFL in net punting average (38.0 avg.). Gruden and his staff also
led the AFC squad to a 38-17 victory in the Pro Bowl, a game that saw Gannon
earn the first of his two consecutive Pro Bowl Most Valuable Player awards.
In 1999, Gruden led the Raiders to an 8-8 record despite facing the toughest
schedule of any NFL team. The Raiders ranked third in rushing yards (2,084)
and fifth in total offense in 1999 (355.8 avg.). In 1998, Gruden’s first year as
a head coach, he led the Silver and Black to a four-game improvement over the
previous year, going 8-8 and establishing a solid defense that ranked fifth in the
NFL (284.4 avg.).
Gruden was the third-youngest head coach in Raiders history at age 34 when
he was hired in 1998. Al Davis was 33 when he was named head coach and
general manager of the Raiders in 1963 and John Madden was 32 when he was
promoted to the top post in 1969.
Prior to beginning his initial tenure in Oakland, Gruden was a seven-year NFL
assistant, helping his teams qualify for the playoffs five times. Gruden spent
22 2018 Raiders Gameday
three seasons (1995-97) as offensive coordinator for the Philadelphia Eagles.
He was the NFL’s youngest offensive coordinator at age 31 when head coach Ray
Rhodes hired him in 1995. The Eagles posted a record of 26-21-1 during his
time in Philadelphia, including playoff appearances in 1995 and 1996.
In 1997, the Eagles ranked third in passing, fifth in rushing and fourth in
total offense in the NFC. In 1996, they led the NFC in passing, ranked third
in rushing and led the conference in total offense. In 1995, his first season as
a coordinator, Philadelphia finished fourth in the NFL in rushing (132.6 avg.).
Before joining Philadelphia, Gruden worked for three years at Green Bay from
1992-94. He served as an offensive assistant to head coach Mike Holmgren
in 1992 and spent the 1993 and 1994 seasons as Green Bay’s wide receivers
coach. Gruden worked as offensive assistant to head coach George Seifert with
the San Francisco 49ers in 1990, also assisting then-offensive coordinator
Holmgren and helping the 49ers to a 14-2 record and an NFC Championship
Gruden served five years in the college ranks, spending the 1991 season as
wide receivers coach under Paul Hackett at the University of Pittsburgh after
coaching wide receivers at University of Pacific in 1989 and logging a stint as
passing game coordinator at Southeast Missouri State in 1988. He entered the
coaching profession as a graduate assistant at the University of Tennessee in
1986 and 1987, helping the Volunteers to a 17-7-1 record and victories in the
Liberty and Peach Bowls.
Born August 17, 1963 in Sandusky, Ohio, Gruden attended South Bend
(Ind.) Clay High School and was a three-year letterman at quarterback at the
University of Dayton, graduating in 1985 with a degree in communications.
He helped the Flyers to a 24-7 record in three years and was honored with the
prestigious Lt. Andy Zulli Memorial Award, given to the senior player who best
exemplifies the qualities of sportsmanship and character. Gruden and his wife,
Cindy, a former University of Tennessee cheerleader, have three sons, Deuce,
who is in his first season as an assistant strength and conditioning coach for the
Silver and Black, Michael and Jayson.
Heavily involved in the community at each of his coaching stops, Gruden and
his wife have hosted youth groups at games and camps, worked on fundraising
and awareness campaigns for the American Red Cross, the Humane Society
of Tampa Bay and the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Gruden has worked to
raise awareness about youth sports funding through the FFCA, hosting events
that recognize the work of local high school coaches and presenting deserving
programs with grant support and equipment. In 2015, the Moffitt Cancer Center
dedicated the Gruden Huddle Room at the Moffitt McKinley Outpatient Center
in Tampa in recognition of the Gruden family’s support.
Gruden’s father, Jim, is a long-time veteran of professional, collegiate and
high school football coaching and scouting. He served as a personnel consultant
with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after spending 17 seasons in the San Francisco
49ers’ scouting department. He was Tampa Bay’s Director of Player Personnel
(1984-86) and running backs coach (1982-83), joining the NFL after coaching
stops at the college and high school levels.
Gruden’s brother, Jay, is entering his fifth season as the head coach of
the Washington Redskins. He joined the Redskins after serving as offensive
coordinator for the Cincinnati Bengals (2011-13), head coach (2010) and
offensive coordinator (2009) for the Florida Tuskers of the United Football
League (UFL) and was an offensive assistant under his brother for the Tampa
Bay Buccaneers for seven seasons (2002-08). Jay spent 18 seasons in the Arena
Football League, forging an illustrious career as a quarterback and head coach.
In nine seasons as head coach of the Orlando Predators (1998-2001, 2004-08),
he led his team to four ArenaBowl appearances and won two championships.
In six seasons as quarterback for the Tampa Bay Storm (1991-96), he won four
ArenaBowl championships, was named the league’s Most Valuable Player in
1992 and was inducted into the AFL’s Hall of Fame in 1999. He returned from
retirement to quarterback the Predators from 2002-03. Jay played quarterback
in the World League of American Football (WLAF) after lettering four years at
the University of Louisville.
Jon Gruden’s Coaching Background
YearS Team Position
1986-87 Tennessee Graduate Assistant
1988 Southeast Missouri State Passing Game Coordinator
1989 Pacific Wide Receivers
1990 San Francisco 49ers Offensive Assistant
1991 Pittsburgh Wide Receivers
1992 Green Bay Packers Offensive Assistant
1993-94 Green Bay Packers Wide Receivers
1995-97 Philadelphia Eagles Offensive Coordinator
1998-01 Oakland Raiders Head Coach
2002-08 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Head Coach
2018 Oakland Raiders Head Coach