|Ken Whisenhunt, who was hired Monday by the Titans as head coach, visits with Arizona Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald after a 2013 preseason game. Whisenhunt coached Fitzgerald from 2007-12 before becoming San Diego's offensive coordinator. Click here for photos from Whisenhunt's career. |
“This is a big day for this franchise,” Titans President/CEO Tommy Smith said in a release. “Ken is a well-respected coach in this league and I am looking forward to seeing his vision become reality for this team. He has a history of building successful offenses and took Arizona to a Super Bowl as a head coach. We all share a common goal for this team and that is to build a consistent winner. I want to thank Ruston for his hard work in the process and the quality candidates that he brought in for interviews.”
Titans general manager Ruston Webster met with Whisenhunt in San Diego Friday as the fourth candidate that Tennessee formally interviewed last week to replace Mike Munchak, with whom the organization parted after three seasons as head coach.
“I have a lot of respect for Ken as a coach and as an offensive mind,” Webster said in a release. “The traits that stand out to me when identifying him as our next coach – he is intelligent, has a track record with quality offenses and head coaching success. I really enjoyed our meeting on Friday night in San Diego and we share similar philosophies about the game. Additionally, we have several mutual colleagues that have spoken highly to me about Ken both as a coach and as a person. I am excited about Ken joining us and the future of the Titans.”
Whisenhunt completed his first season with the Chargers Sunday at Denver in an AFC Divisional playoff game.
Before this year in San Diego, Whisenhunt spent the six previous seasons as head coach of the Arizona Cardinals (2007-12). His tenure included the team’s appearance in Super Bowl XLIII after leading Arizona to a team-record 12 wins during the 2008 regular season and postseason. Whisenhunt won 49 games (45 regular season, four postseason wins), which is the most of any coach in the history of that franchise. He was 45-51 in 96 regular season games.
Prior to joining Arizona, Whisenhunt spent 10 NFL seasons as an assistant. He was offensive coordinator at Pittsburgh (2004-06), which included the Steelers’ win in Super Bowl XL after the 2005 season, after coaching the team’s tight ends (2001-03). Whisenhunt coached the same position with Baltimore 1997-98 and with the New York Jets in 2000. He was special teams coach of the Cleveland Browns in 1999.
A native of Augusta, Ga., Whisenhunt played quarterback and tight end at Georgia Tech from 1980-84. He was selected by the Atlanta Falcons in the 12th round of the 1985 NFL Draft. He played nine seasons in the NFL (Falcons, 1985-88; Redskins 1989-90; Jets, 1991-93), catching 62 passes for 601 yards and six TDs.
Whisenhunt, who earned a civil engineering degree at Georgia Tech, took 1994 off from football then began his coaching career at Vanderbilt as special teams and tight ends coach from 1995-96.
The Titans also interviewed Cincinnati Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer on Jan. 9, Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell on Jan. 8 and Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden on Jan. 7. The Washington Redskins hired Gruden on Jan. 9 to replace Mike Shanahan.