Dan Henning, who served as offensive coordinator for Washington's Super Bowl Champions of the 1980's and most recently oversaw the resurgence of Vinny Testaverde as quarterback coach of the New York Jets, has been named offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach of the Carolina Panthers the team announced Thursday.
Henning has studied under some of the most successful head coaches in NFL history during his 25-year professional career, including Don Shula, Joe Gibbs and Bill Parcells. Among the quarterbacks he has helped develop are Joe Theismann, Bob Griese and Doug Williams as well as Testaverde.
"Dan Henning is viewed as one of the best offensive coordinators in the NFL. He has knowledge and experience and will be a great asset to our offense," says Panthers head coach John Fox. "He has worked with a variety of quarterbacks and offensive styles, which will provide great flexibility to what we are able to do offensively, and most of all, he has been productive."
Henning's versatility was reflected at New York. During the Jets run to the AFC Championship game in 1998, Henning coached Testaverde to a Pro Bowl selection as the former Heisman Trophy winner set a club record for most touchdown passes in a season with 29. A year later when an injury forced Testaverde to the sidelines, the Jets compiled a 7-2 record with unproven Ray Lucas at quarterback.
"I'm excited about working with a coach who is regarded as one of the top defensive coaches in the League and has tremendous enthusiasm about the Carolina Panthers," says Henning. "After talking with John Fox and hearing him explain his plans for the team, I am caught up in that enthusiasm and excited about coming to Carolina."
Henning was in a similar situation in 1981 when he was named assistant head coach of the Redskins to Gibbs, then a relatively unknown first-year head coach. A year later Washington won Super Bowl XVII. In 1987, Henning returned to Washington after a head coaching stint in Atlanta and the Redskins won Super Bowl XXII, setting the record for most points scored in a quarter (35).
Following head coaching jobs at San Diego and Boston College, Henning worked with Buffalo as offensive coordinator in 1997 before joining the Jets in 1998. The Jets jumped to fourth in the NFL in offense that season and finished 12th in Henning's last season in New York in 2000. He did not coach last year.
A native of Queens, NY, Henning played college football at William and Mary where he ranked 14th in the nation in passing yardage as a senior.
He coached at Florida State and Virginia Tech before he began coaching in the NFL with the Houston Oilers in 1972 and has worked with the Miami, San Diego, Buffalo and Detroit as well as Washington and the New York Jets.