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Ken Whisenhunt
Head Coach

Biography

Ken Whisenhunt enters his first season with the Titans after becoming the 17th head coach in franchise history on Jan. 14, 2014.

Whisenhunt has 17 seasons of NFL coaching experience, including six years (2007-12) as head coach of the Arizona Cardinals. As head coach for the Cardinals, he won a franchise-record 49 games, including an appearance in Super Bowl XLIII after a team-record 12-win season in 2008. Last year, as offensive coordinator for San Diego, he led the Chargers offense to the fifth most yards in the NFL and the league’s top ranking in third-down offense. Quarterback Philip Rivers earned a Pro Bowl invitation and matched the highest passer rating of his career (105.5), which was the fourth highest rating for an NFL quarterback in 2013. For his work with the Chargers, he was named NFL Assistant Coach of the Year by the Pro Football Writers of America.

Ken Whisenhunt enters his first season with the Titans after becoming the 17th head coach in franchise history on Jan. 14, 2014.

Whisenhunt has 17 seasons of NFL coaching experience, including six years (2007-12) as head coach of the Arizona Cardinals. As head coach for the Cardinals, he won a franchise-record 49 games, including an appearance in Super Bowl XLIII after a team-record 12-win season in 2008. Last year, as offensive coordinator for San Diego, he led the Chargers offense to the fifth most yards in the NFL and the league’s top ranking in third-down offense. Quarterback Philip Rivers earned a Pro Bowl invitation and matched the highest passer rating of his career (105.5), which was the fourth highest rating for an NFL quarterback in 2013. For his work with the Chargers, he was named NFL Assistant Coach of the Year by the Pro Football Writers of America.

Through the years, Whisenhunt has been associated with prolific offenses, top-flight quarterbacks and winning cultures. In his years as an offensive coordinator or head coach, he has coached two different quarterbacks to Super Bowl berths (Ben Roethlisberger and Kurt Warner) and two signal callers to Pro Bowl selections (Warner and Rivers). Additionally, those teams combined to reach the playoffs in five of his 10 seasons as offensive coordinator or head coach, including one Super Bowl win (XL) with Pittsburgh and one Super Bowl loss (XLIII) with Arizona.

Whisenhunt earned his first head coaching job in 2007 with the Arizona Cardinals, a job he would hold for six seasons. After joining a franchise that had experienced losing seasons in 20 of the previous 22 seasons, he would produce four seasons at .500 or better. His ability to change the culture yielded early results as the team went 8-8 in his first season and laid the foundation for what was to come. In his second season (2008) at the helm, the Cardinals captured the NFC West title, an NFC Championship and the franchise’s first-ever trip to a Super Bowl. Year three (2009) produced another NFC West title, the franchise’s first back-to-back titles since 1974-75, with a 10-6 record.

Upon his arrival in the desert, Whisenhunt inherited quarterback Kurt Warner and guided him to some of the best years of his career. In three years together, Warner passed for 11,753 yards and 83 touchdowns, and earned his first Pro Bowl appearance in seven years, along with setting the team record for points scored in 2008 (427). The 2008 team fielded the fourth best offense in the NFL, and its 188 postseason points were the third-highest in postseason history on its way to the Super Bowl. His 2009 team led the NFL in red zone scoring (70.4%) as well as red zone touchdown efficiency (65.1%). Wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald earned Pro Bowl selections in each of the six seasons Whisenhunt was in Arizona. Warner and wide receiver Anquan Boldin each earned Pro Bowl nods following the 2008 season. For his career at Arizona, Whisenhunt posted a 49-53 record, which included a 4-2 postseason mark.

Before his hiring in Arizona, Whisenhunt spent six seasons (2001-06) with the Pittsburgh Steelers, the first three as tight ends coach and the final three as offensive coordinator. In each of his years as the Steelers offensive coordinator the team ranked in the top 10 in rushing offense, including placing second in 2004, when the team won 13 games and averaged 154 rushing yards per game with rookie quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who earned NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year honors. In his second season leading the offense, the Steelers won Super Bowl XL 21-10 against the Seattle Seahawks and Big Ben became the youngest quarterback to win a Super Bowl. As Roethlisberger progressed, the Steelers fielded the seventh best offense in 2006 and the ninth-best passing offense. In two of Whisenhunt’s three years at the offensive controls, the Steelers ranked sixth in the NFL in third down offense.

Whisenhunt entered the NFL coaching ranks in 1997 as the tight ends coach for the Baltimore Ravens. He stayed in Baltimore for two seasons before spending one season (1999) with the Cleveland Browns as special teams coach and one year (2000) with the New York Jets as tight ends coach. He began his coaching career as the special teams/tight ends coach at Vanderbilt in 1995 and 1996.

Whisenhunt played tight end as a walk-on at Georgia Tech from 1980-84. He was named All-ACC as a senior and earned a civil engineering degree. In 1985, the Atlanta Falcons drafted him in 12th round, and he played nine seasons in the NFL, including four with the Falcons (1985-88), two with the Washington Redskins (1989-90) and three with the New York Jets (1991-93). He played in 74 games during his career and caught 62 passes for 601 yards and six touchdowns.

An avid and accomplished golfer, Whisenhunt has been a scratch player. At the conclusion of his NFL career, he spent the following year working on his golf game, including an appearance in the 1994 U.S. Mid-Amateur at Hazeltine. His career-best score is a 65, and he has recorded two holes in one during his golfing career. As a high school student, he worked the famous manual scoreboard at the 18th hole at Augusta National and since has had the privilege of playing the course several times, including an even-par 72 in 2008, which included an eagle 2 on the 11th hole.

A native of Augusta, Ga., Whisenhunt (age 51) and his wife, Alice, have two grown children – son, Kenneth, and daughter, Mary Ashley.

Ken Whisenhunt’s Coaching Experience:

2014: Head Coach, Tennessee Titans
2013: Offensive Coordinator, San Diego Chargers
2007-12: Head Coach, Arizona Cardinals
2004-06: Offensive Coordinator, Pittsburgh Steelers
2001-03: Tight Ends, Pittsburgh Steelers
2000: Tight Ends, New York Jets
1999: Special Teams, Cleveland Browns
1997-98: Tight Ends, Baltimore Ravens
1995-96: Special Teams & Tight Ends, Vanderbilt

Ken Whisenhunt’s Playing Experience:


1991-93: Tight End, New York Jets
1989-90: Tight End, Washington Redskins
1985-88:  Tight End, Atlanta Falcons
1980-84: Tight End/H-Back, Georgia Tech

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